The ultimate goal of nanotechnology is to create molecular devices in which the data storage can be carried out at the molecular level and at very high speeds.8 The potential of organic molecules in this emerging field can hardly be exaggerated especially given that desired structures can be readily tailored by the use of modern organic synthesis.
For example, molecules based on tetraphenylene (TP) show the necessary characteristics to function as switchable molecular devices, i.e. (eq. 2)
We are actively pursuing the highly reversible and rapid C-C bond formation and breakage in tetraphenylene derivatives and related molecules (which is accompanied by dramatic color changes) for the construction of novel molecular devices that can be switched on and off by external stimuli (such as heat, light, electrical field, or change in pH). Ultimately, the easy fabrication of organic molecules and the high degree of synthetic flexibility in these functioning molecular devices will allow their ready modification and eventual incorporation into polymers and thin films for practical usage.