Molecular Machines for Transport, Catalysis and Pumping

  • Jack Shield

Student thesis: Phd


Molecular machines are used in nature to carry out a wide range of sophisticated functions. These biological machines are remarkable in their efficiency and specificity but with this comes a great deal of complexity. As a result, precise analysis of their mode of operation becomes difficult to decipher. As synthetic chemists, we are able to design and construct molecules using a vast toolbox of chemical transformations. This thesis demonstrates the range of functions artificial molecular machines can be designed to perform. Firstly, a molecular transporter than can selectively move a cargo between four sites by judicious control of stimuli. Secondly, a mechanically chiral catenane-based structure that performs allosterically controlled asymmetric catalysis. Finally, a daisy chain polymer based on a molecular pump system that translates molecular motion across length scales to alter its macroscopic physical properties with sequential additions of acid and base.
Date of Award1 Aug 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorDavid Leigh (Supervisor) & Michael Greaney (Supervisor)


  • Catenane
  • Molecular Pumps
  • Supramolecular Catalysis
  • Rotaxane
  • Supramolecular Chemistry
  • Molecular Transporters
  • Molecular Machines

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