Catenanes: fifty years of molecular links.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Half a century after Schill and Lüttringhaus carried out the first directed synthesis of a [2]catenane, a plethora of strategies now exist for the construction of molecular Hopf links (singly interlocked rings), the simplest type of catenane. The precision and effectiveness with which suitable templates and/or noncovalent interactions can arrange building blocks has also enabled the synthesis of intricate and often beautiful higher order interlocked systems, including Solomon links, Borromean rings, and a Star of David catenane. This Review outlines the diverse strategies that exist for synthesizing catenanes in the 21st century and examines their emerging applications and the challenges that still exist for the synthesis of more complex topologies.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6110-6150
Number of pages40
JournalAngewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)
Issue number21
StatePublished - 18 May 2015