Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanotechnology: Scientists construct molecular 'knots'

Date:
July 21, 2010
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Scientists have constructed molecular "knots" with dimensions of around two nanometers -- around 30,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have constructed molecular `knots -- with dimensions of around two nanometers (2 x 10-9 nm) -- around 30,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

Most molecules are held together by chemical bonds between atoms -- 'nano-knots' are instead mechanically bonded by interpenetrating loops. Liverpool scientists have managed to create nanoscale knots in the laboratory by mixing together two simple starting materials -- one a rigid aromatic compound and the other a more flexible amine linker.

This is an unusual example of 'self-assembly', a process which underpins biology and allows complex structures to assemble from more simple building blocks. Each knot is 'tied' three times: that is, at least three chemical bonds must be broken to untie the knot. A single knot is a complex assembly of 20 smaller molecules.

Professor Andrew Cooper, Director of the University's Centre for Materials Discovery, said: "I was amazed when we discovered these molecules; we actually set out to make something simpler. A complex structure arises out of quite basic building blocks.

"It is like shaking Scrabble tiles in a bag and pulling out a fully formed sentence. These are the surprises which make scientific research so fascinating."

The experimental work was led by Dr Tom Hasell, a Postdoctoral Researcher, who recognized that the data in an experiment to create organic nanocages was anomalous. In particular, the mass of the molecules was twice as high as expected, a result of the complex mechanical interlocking of two molecular sub-units. The team is now focusing on the practical application of these molecules and similar structures -- for example, to build molecular 'machines' which can trap harmful gases and pollutants such as carbon dioxide.

The research, which was published in the journal Nature Chemistry, forms part of a broader five-year programme focusing on the synthesis of new materials for applications such as energy storage and conversion. The project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tom Hasell, Xiaofeng Wu, James T. A. Jones, John Bacsa, Alexander Steiner, Tamoghna Mitra, Abbie Trewin, Dave J. Adams & Andrew I. Cooper. Triply interlocked covalent organic cages. Nature Chemistry, 18 July 2010 DOI: 10.1038/nchem.739

Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Nanotechnology: Scientists construct molecular 'knots'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720093136.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2010, July 21). Nanotechnology: Scientists construct molecular 'knots'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720093136.htm
University of Liverpool. "Nanotechnology: Scientists construct molecular 'knots'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720093136.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) — It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) — The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins