Functional interlocked structures

Interlocked molecules consist of two or more molecules threaded through one another, such that they cannot be separated without breaking a covalent bond.  Catenanes are one type of interlocked molecule consisting of interlocked macrocycles (like chain-links on the molecular scale).  We are interested in synthesizing catenanes that can bind both transition metal cations and anions for use as nano-scale molecular machines, and for applications in purification and separation of metal salts.