Single-molecule level control of host-guest interactions in metallocycle-C60 complexes

Jian Hong Tang, Yueqi Li, Qingqing Wu, Zixiao Wang, Songjun Hou, Kun Tang, Yue Sun, Hui Wang, Heng Wang, Cheng Lu, Xiang Wang, Xiaopeng Li, Dong Wang, Jiannian Yao, Colin J. Lambert, Nongjian Tao, Yu Wu Zhong, Peter J. Stang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Host−guest interactions are of central importance in many biological and chemical processes. However, the investigation of the formation and decomplexation of host−guest systems at the single-molecule level has been a challenging task. Here we show that the single-molecule conductance of organoplatinum(II) metallocycle hosts can be enhanced by an order of magnitude by the incorporation of a C60 guest molecule. Mechanically stretching the metallocycle-C60 junction with a scanning tunneling microscopy break junction technique causes the release of the C60 guest from the metallocycle, and consequently the conductance switches back to the free-host level. Metallocycle hosts with different shapes and cavity sizes show different degrees of flexibility to accommodate the C60 guest in response to mechanical stretching. DFT calculations provide further insights into the electronic structures and charge transport properties of the molecular junctions based on metallocycles and the metallocycle-C60 complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4599
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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