Ferroelectricity and polarity control in solid-state flip-flop supramolecular rotators

Tomoyuki Akutagawa, Hiroyuki Koshinaka, Daisuke Sato, Sadamu Takeda, Shin Ichiro Noro, Hiroyuki Takahashi, Reiji Kumai, Yoshinori Tokura, Takayoshi Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

415 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular rotation has attracted much attention with respect to the development of artificial molecular motors, in an attempt to mimic the intelligent and useful functions of biological molecular motors. Random motion of molecular rotatorsfor example the 180° flip-flop motion of a rotatory unitcauses a rotation of the local structure. Here, we show that such motion is controllable using an external electric field and demonstrate how such molecular rotators can be used as polarization rotation units in ferroelectric molecules. In particular, m-fluoroanilinium forms a hydrogen-bonding assembly with dibenzo[18]crown-6, which was introduced as the counter cation of [Ni(dmit)"2]- anions (dmit2≤2-thioxo-1,3-dithiole- 4,5-dithiolate). The supramolecular rotator of m-fluoroanilinium exhibited dipole rotation by the application of an electric field, and the crystal showed a ferroelectric transition at 348K. These findings will open up new strategies for ferroelectric molecules where a chemically designed dipole unit enables control of the nature of the ferroelectric transition temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-347
Number of pages6
JournalNature Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr


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