Bacteriorhodopsin-inspired light-driven artificial molecule motors for transmembrane mass transportation

Ganhua Xie, Pei Li, Zhiju Zhao, Xiang-Yu Kong, Zhen Zhang, Kai Xiao, Huanting Wang, Liping Wen, Lei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In nature, biological machines and motors can selectively transport cargoes across the lipid membranes to efficiently perform various physiological functions via ion channels or ion pumps. It is interesting and challengeable to develop artificial motors and machines of nanodimensions to controllably regulate mass transport in compartmentalized systems. In this work, we show a system of artificial molecular motors that uses light energy to perform transmembrane molecule transport through synthetical nanochannels. After functionalizing the polymer nanochannels with azobenzene derivatives, these nanomachines exhibit autonomous selective transport behavior over a long distance upon simultaneous irradiation with UV (365 nm) and visible (430 nm) light. With new strategies or suitable materials for directed molecular movement, such device can be regarded as a precursor of artificial light-driven molecular pumps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16708-16712
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2018


  • light-driven processes
  • mass transport
  • molecular motors
  • nanochannels
  • photoisomerism

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