A challenge in contemporary chemistry is the realization of artificial molecular machines that can perform work in solution on their environments. Here, we report on the design and production of a supramolecular flashing energy ratchet capable of processing chemical fuel generated by redox changes to drive a ring in one direction relative to a dumbbell toward an energetically uphill state. The kinetics of the reaction pathway juxtapose a low energy pseudorotaxane that forms under equilibrium conditions with a high energy, metastable pseudorotaxane which resides away from equilibrium.
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© 2014 American Chemical Society.