Transition metal complex-based molecular machines
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Inspired by the performance and evolutionarily-optimised natural molecular machines that carry out all the essential tasks contributing to the molecular basis of life, chemists aim towards fabricating synthetic molecular machines that mimic biological nanodevices. The use of rotaxanes as a prototype for molecular machines has emerged as a result of their ability to undergo translational motion between two or more co-conformations. Although biological machines are capable of complex and intricate functions, their inherent stability and operational conditions are restricted to in vivo. Synthetic systems offer a limitless number of building blocks and a range of interactions to be manipulated. Transition metal-ligand interactions are utilised as one strategy to control the directional movement of submolecular components in artificial machines due to their well-defined geometric requirements and significant strength. This thesis presents new externally addressable and switchable molecular elements for transition metal complexed-molecular machines involving an acid-base switch. The proton input that induces changes to cyclometallated platinum complexes can be exploited to control exchange between different coordination modes. The development of the pH-switchable metal-ligand motif for the stimuli-responsive platinum-complexed molecular shuttle has also been explored. The metal-directed self-assembly of tubular complexes were studied in order to develop self-assembled rotaxanes. A series of metal building blocks was explored to extend the scope for a tube self-assembly.