Thermal modulation of birefringence observed in a crystalline molecular gyrotop.


Recently, functional organic materials have been put into practical use. The application of molecular motions has the potential to create new molecule-based materials. For this reason, considerable attention has been focused on the chemistry and properties of molecular machines in which mechanical motions of parts of the molecules are observed. In particular, phenylene rotation in the crystalline state has been investigated using framed molecular gyrotops having a phenylene rotor encased in three long alkyl spokes. In this study, we show thermal modulation of birefringence in a crystal due to the states of dynamic equilibrium of a novel molecular gyrotop. A macrocage molecule having a bridged phenylene rotor was synthesized as a novel molecular gyrotop. Rapid rotation of the phenylene rotor of the molecular gyrotop was confirmed by solid-state (2)H NMR spectroscopy that showed changes in the optical properties of a single crystal, i.e., the thermal modulation of birefringence. These results are the first application of the dynamic states in a crystal causing an optical change. These phenomena were also confirmed by control experiments using a molecular gyrotop with a nonrotating xylene rotor. We anticipate our finding to be a starting point for the creation of a new field of material chemistry that will make use of the dynamic states of molecules.


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  • Authors

    Setaka W

    Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokushima Bunri University, 1314-1 Shido, Sanuki, Kagawa 769-2193, Japan.

    Yamaguchi K


    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109:24 2012 Jun 12 pg 9271-5


    Crystallography, X-Ray
    Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article



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