Mechanical bond

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The mechanical bond is a type of chemical bond found in mechanically-interlocked molecular architectures such as catenanes and rotaxanes. Unlike classical molecular structures, interlocked molecules consist of two or more separate components which are not connected by chemical (i.e. covalent) bonds. These structures are true molecules and not a supramolecular species, as each component is intrinsically linked to the other – resulting in a mechanical bond which prevents dissociation without cleavage of one or more covalent bonds. It should be noted that the “mechanical bond” is a relatively new terminology and at this point has limited usage in chemical literature relative to more well established bonds, such as covalent, hydrogen, or ionic bonds.

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