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Single-molecule conductance of viologen–cucurbit[8]uril host–guest complexes.

Zhang, W. and Gan, S. and Vezzoli, A. and Davidson, R.J. and Milan, D.C. and Luzyanin, K.V. and Higgins, S.J. and Nichols, R.J. and Beeby, A. and Low, P.J. and Li, B. and Niu, L. (2016) 'Single-molecule conductance of viologen–cucurbit[8]uril host–guest complexes.', ACS nano., 10 (5). pp. 5212-5220.


The local molecular environment is a critical factor which should be taken into account when measuring single-molecule electrical properties in condensed media or in the design of future molecular electronic or single molecule sensing devices. Supramolecular interactions can be used to control the local environment in molecular assemblies and have been used to create microenvironments, for instance, for chemical reactions. Here, we use supramolecular interactions to create microenvironments which influence the electrical conductance of single molecule wires. Cucurbit[8]uril (CB[8]) with a large hydrophobic cavity was used to host the viologen (bipyridinium) molecular wires forming a 1:1 supramolecular complex. Significant increases in the viologen wire single molecule conductances are observed when it is threaded into CB[8] due to large changes of the molecular microenvironment. The results were interpreted within the framework of a Marcus-type model for electron transfer as arising from a reduction in outer-sphere reorganization energy when the viologen is confined within the hydrophobic CB[8] cavity.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the author and source are cited.
Date accepted:07 April 2016
Date deposited:22 April 2016
Date of first online publication:19 April 2016
Date first made open access:07 April 2017

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