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.

Related Articles


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 21, 2015 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 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Free Home Heating Offered by E-Radiators

Free Home Heating Offered by E-Radiators

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 21, 2015) — A revolutionary new radiator design offers Dutch home-owners the chance to get free heating. The e-Radiator is a computer server modified so that the heat it generates can warm a room inside a house. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Humanoid Robot Can Recognise and Interact With People

Humanoid Robot Can Recognise and Interact With People

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 20, 2015) — An ultra-realistic humanoid robot called &apos;Han&apos; recognises and interprets people&apos;s facial expressions and can even hold simple conversations. Developers Hanson Robotics hope androids like Han could have uses in hospitality and health care industries where face-to-face communication is vital. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Drones and Health Apps at Santiago's "Robotics Day"

Drones and Health Apps at Santiago's "Robotics Day"

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) — Latin American robotics experts gather in Santiago, Chile for "Robotics Day". Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japan Humanoid Robot Receives Customers at Department Store

Japan Humanoid Robot Receives Customers at Department Store

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) — She can smile, she can sing and she can give you guidance at one of the most upscale department stores in Tokyo...a female-looking humanoid makes her debut as a receptionist Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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