Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemists create molecular polyhedron -- and potential to enhance industrial and consumer products

Date:
July 21, 2011
Source:
New York University
Summary:
Chemists have created a molecular polyhedron, a ground-breaking assembly that has the potential to impact a range of industrial and consumer products, including magnetic and optical materials.

Chemists have created a molecular polyhedron, a ground-breaking assembly that has the potential to impact a range of industrial and consumer products, including magnetic and optical materials.

Related Articles


The work, reported in the latest issue of the journal Science, was conducted by researchers at New York University's Department of Chemistry and its Molecular Design Institute and the University of Milan's Department of Materials Science.

Researchers have sought to coerce molecules to form regular polyhedra -- three-dimensional objects in which each side, or face, is a polygon -- but without sustained success. Archimedean solids, discovered by the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes, have attracted considerable attention in this regard. These 13 solids are those in which each face is a regular polygon and in which around every vertex -- the corner at which its geometric shapes meet -- the same polygons appear in the same sequences. For instance, in a truncated tetrahedron, the pattern forming at every vertex is hexagon-hexagon-triangle. The synthesis of such structures from molecules is an intellectual challenge.

The work by the NYU and University of Milan chemists forms a quasi-truncated octahedron, which also constitutes one of the 13 Archimedean solids. Moreover, as a polyhedron, the structure has the potential to serve as a cage-like framework to trap other molecular species, which can jointly serve as building blocks for new and enhanced materials.

"We've demonstrated how to coerce molecules to assemble into a polyhedron by design," explained Michael Ward, chair of NYU's Department of Chemistry and one of the study's co-authors. "The next step will be to expand on the work by making other polyhedra using similar design principles, which can lead to new materials with unusual properties."

The research team's creation relies on a remarkably high number of hydrogen bonds -- 72 -- to assemble two kinds of hexagonal molecular tiles, four each, into a truncated octahedron, which consists of eight molecular tiles. Although chemists often use hydrogen bonds because of their versatility in building complex structures, these bonds are weaker than those holding atoms together within the molecules themselves, which often makes larger scale structures constructed with hydrogen bonds less predictable and less sustainable. The truncated octahedron discovered by the NYU team proved to be remarkably stable, however, because the hydrogen bonds are stabilized by the ionic nature of the molecules and because no other outcomes are possible. In fact, the truncated octahedra assemble further into crystals that have nanoscale pores, resembling a class of well-known compounds called zeolites, which are made from inorganic components.

Because the structure also serves as a molecular cage, it can house, or encapsulate, other molecular components, giving future chemists a vehicle for developing a range of new compounds.

The study's other co-authors were Yuzhou Liu, a graduate student, and Chunhua Hu, a researcher professor, in NYU's Department of Chemistry and Molecular Design Institute and Professor Angiolina Comotti of the University of Milan's Department of Materials Science.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Yuzhou Liu, Chunhua Hu, Angiolina Comotti, Michael D. Ward. Supramolecular Archimedean Cages Assembled with 72 Hydrogen Bonds. Science, 2011; 333 (6041): 436-440 DOI: 10.1126/science.1204369

Cite This Page:

New York University. "Chemists create molecular polyhedron -- and potential to enhance industrial and consumer products." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110721142404.htm>.
New York University. (2011, July 21). Chemists create molecular polyhedron -- and potential to enhance industrial and consumer products. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110721142404.htm
New York University. "Chemists create molecular polyhedron -- and potential to enhance industrial and consumer products." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110721142404.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) A virtual flying enthusiast converts parts of a written-off Airbus aircraft into a working flight simulator in his northern Slovenian home. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
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:

More Coverage


Chemists Create Molecular Flasks: Researchers Design a Self-Assembling Material That Can House Other Molecules

July 21, 2011 Recently, researchers at New York University demonstrated an ability to make new materials with empty space on the inside, which could potentially control desired and unwanted chemical ... read more

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