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Pure Appl. Chem., 2004, Vol. 76, No. 10, pp. 1887-1902

Molecular devices

V. Balzani, Paola Ceroni and B. Ferrer

Dipartimento di Chimica “G. Ciamician”, Universitŕ di Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy

Abstract: The concept of a macroscopic device can be extended to the molecular level by designing and synthesizing (supra)molecular species capable of performing specific functions. Molecular devices need energy to operate and signals to communicate with the operator. The energy needed to make a device work can be supplied as chemical energy, electrical energy, or light. Luminescence is one of the most useful techniques to monitor the operation of molecular-level devices. The extension of the concept of a device to the molecular level is of interest, not only for basic research, but also for the growth of nanoscience and the development of nanotechnology. In this article, some of the most recent experiments performed in our laboratory will be reviewed.