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Chemistry International
Vol. 24, No. 3
May 2002


IUPAC Projects

Nomenclature for Rotaxanes, Catenanes, and Macromolecular Rotaxanes

There are currently no standards for nomenclature of rotaxanes, catenanes, and of macromolecular rotaxanes. During the last 15 years, the scientific community has shown increasing interest in these fields of small molecules and polymers, and Standardization of nomenclature in these fields is highly desirable and long overdue. This presents an opportunity for IUPAC to recommend nomenclature systems in order to establish world nomenclature standards.

The title projects have been initiated in order to address the issues. Since the fields of rotaxanes and macromolecular rotaxanes are still rapidly expanding, the paths forward are necessarily undefined, so this may be an unusually challenging task.

Typical (Macromolecular) Rotaxane

Pseudorotaxane : E-E is a linear (macro)molecule; E is an end-group small enough to permit dethreading.
Rotaxane: E-E is a linear (macro)molecule; E is an endgroup large enough to prevent dethreading. The number of rings threaded varies; 1 is commonest.

Typical Catenane

Catenane: physically interlocked macrocycles with no chemical bonding between them. Each macrocycle size is generally specified and the macrocycles are usually non-polymeric. Catenanes contain at least two macrocycles, and may be linear or branched.





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