Catenanes and rotaxanes are mechanically interlocked molecules. For further functionalization, the introduction of such molecules into ordered fluid states is of interest. The control of their dynamic properties in liquid-crystalline order may lead to the development of new smart soft materials such as stimuli-responsive materials and molecular machines. In this review, thermotropic and lyotropic liquid-crystalline catenanes and rotaxanes are described. One approach to the induction of liquid crystallinity to catenanes and rotaxanes is the attachment of mesogenic moieties. Rigid-rod polyrotaxanes that behave as mesogens also exhibit liquid-crystalline properties.
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