Structural Chemistry

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 1653–1662 | Cite as

Two small molecular propellers and their rotational potential energy surfaces

  • M. Owen HurstJr.
  • Ryan C. Fortenberry
Original Research


Molecular propellers based upon the twisting of a disulfide bond are analyzed here as the locomotion source for fullerene nanoparticles. The HC(CCHSSHCC)3CH and related HC(CCHSSNC)3CH bicyclic compounds are optimized and linked to pyracyclene functioning as a model fullerene surface. It is shown that steric hinderance from the hydrogen atoms on both the bottom of the propeller blade and the linker to the fullerene surface can have significant effects on the rotational potential energy surface. Replacing the bottom CH groups on the molecular propeller with nitrogen atoms not only reduces these barriers significantly, but this action creates a strongly dipolar molecule in HC(CCHSSNC)3CH. Such a system would be responsive to and controllable with an external, rotating, magnetic or electric field. Endohedral fullerenes have known applications for targeted delivery, especially in nanomedicine. Providing further control with molecular propellers could enhance the feasibility and use of these technologies.


Nanotechnology Molecular propellers Disulfide bonds Quantum chemistry Drug delivery 



Georgia Southern University is thanked for the start-up funds and computer hardware/software necessary to perform this research. Additionally, the WebMO graphical user interface [30] was utilized in the production of the molecules given in the figures.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry & BiochemistryGeorgia Southern UniversityStatesboroUSA

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