Symes, Mark D
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Inspired by the motor protein kinesin, an ambitious and unprecedented mimic is proposed – a synthetic molecular motor that can walk. This thesis aims to explain the basic principles which define such walking molecules, with reference to both natural and synthetic systems. In light of these tenets, the rational design of the proposed synthetic kinesin analogue will then be expounded. The putative design envisages the use of a series of stimuli-induced binding events to cause a “walker unit” to process along a polypyridyl track in a unidirectional, hand-over-hand fashion. The chemistry behind the stepping mechanisms of both feet of the walker unit will be discussed in detail, along with a complete description of the synthesis of the track and walker unit to date. The future challenges and potential applications of the proposed system will be addressed.