In nature complex biomolecules are synthesized by molecular machines (NRPS) powered by ATP. We are following the principles of nature with the design of light-driven molecular assemblers. They drive systems away from thermodynamic equilibrium to build up more complex structures. Thereby light is converted to chemical energy. In a mixture of compounds the desired reactants are selected and guided along the preferred reaction channel to form complex molecules which could not be obtained in a spontaneous process.
Thermodynamic and kinetic stabilization of divanadate in the monovanadate/divanadate equilibrium using a Zn-cyclene derivative: Towards a simple ATP synthase model
Beilstein J. Org. Chem. 2012, 8, 81-89.
The new switches are based on the diazocine switching unit, which itself is an improved azobenzene. Upon irradiation, the substances not only undergo a color change, but the less flexible molecular structure enables their application as a molecular synthetic machine.
The Beilstein TV movie gives an insight into the process leading from an idea and computer-based development to an optimized synthesis yielding new molecular switches.
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