Josep Puigmartí-Luis, Wojciech J. Saletra, Asensio González, David B. Amabilino * and Lluïsa Pérez-García *
The controlled construction of functional systems by bottom-up surface modification is very relevant for the preparation of synthetic molecular machinery. While the thrust to study molecular motion at the (sub)molecular level on surfaces has led to the design of individual artificial molecular machines, little is known about the geometry of anchoring on a surface. Specific anchoring is desirable, especially for rotor systems in which a rigid axle is oriented perpendicularly to a surface with the mobile component parallel to it. Our aim is to use bottom-up approaches for the solution-based preparation and study of supramolecular rotors (Fig. 1) as potential components of machine-type systems, using the axial coordination of large π-functional molecules – which can be readily imaged using scanning probe microscopy and act as rotators – bound to axles linking them to a surface which is the stator component.