2017 年 75 巻 3 号 p. 219-227
In this review article, we cast doubt on true necessity of complicated organic synthesis for development of functional materials. Instead of synthesizing many molecules, one particular molecule may exhibit varieties of functions just through selecting appropriate environment and its dynamic structural changes. For example, molecular recognition capabilities can be significantly enhanced by placing the molecules at appropriate interfacial environments. Binding constants between phosphate and guanidinium are enhanced by 100-10000 times simply by shifting media from dispersed solution to mesoscopic interfaces of micelles and vesicles. The corresponding constants are further enlarged by 1000000-10000000 times at macroscopic interfaces such as the air-water interfaces. This surprising fact is proved both by experimental and theoretical approaches. Mechanical deformation of particular molecules at interfacial environments makes it possible to freely tune recognition of chiral amino acids and highly enhance discrimination of very similar substances, thymine and uracil derivatives. Further more, such mechanical process at interfaces enable us to operate molecular machines by hand-motion-like macroscopic stimuli. These examples demonstrated that medium-selection and molecular deformations can result in modification and tuning of molecular functions incredibly and could make impossible functions really possible. Now we have to think about aggressive introductions of surface science concepts and supramolecular essences to traditional organic syntheses for further developments of functional molecular sciences.