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Press Release 11-145

Chemists Create Molecular "Flasks"

Researchers design a self-assembling material that can house other molecules

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This is a scanning electron microscope image of a new material that self-assembles into polyhedra.

A scanning electron microscope image shows a new material that self-assembles into a polyhedron using the attractive interactions associated with hydrogen bonds. The shapes then further organize into a crystal lattice that resembles a porous structure called zeolite, an absorbent material with many industrial uses.

Credit: Michael D. Ward, New York University


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This animation shows a portion of the cubic zeolite-like structure formed by the octahedron framework of the new material. In this unit cell there are eight individual "molecular flasks" on the corners and one in the center.

Credit: Michael D. Ward, New York University

 

This image is a representation of a compound nesting inside the new material.

This image is a simplified representation of a compound (red, blue and green) nesting inside a single truncated octahedron (purple).

Credit: Michael D. Ward, New York University


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cover of the journal Science

The researchers' results are described in the July 22 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: copyright AAAS 2011


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