Chiral Hydrogen Bond Environment Providing Unidirectional Rotation in Photoactive Molecular Motors

Generation of a chiral hydrogen bond environment in efficient molecular photoswitches is proposed as a novel strategy for the design of photoactive molecular motors. Here, the following strategy is used to design a retinal-based motor presenting singular properties: (i) a single excitation wavelength is needed to complete the unidirectional rotation process (360°); (ii) the absence of any thermal step permits the process to take place at low temperatures; and (iii) the ultrafast process permits high rotational frequencies.