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A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Japan has developed a way to create catenanes and a molecular trefoil knot out of para-connected benzene rings. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their process and possible uses of their results. Jeff Van Raden, and Ramesh Jasti with the University of Oregon, have published a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue.
In recent years, carbon-based materials such as graphene, fullerenes and carbon nanotubes have captured the imagination of scientists—such materials have a wide range of unique physical properties that make them useful for certain applications. Graphene, for example, is a zero-gap semiconductor. Scientists have also been looking at ways in which such structures can be formed. In this new effort, the researchers have found a way to get benzene rings to form into two kinds of catenanes, and also a trefoil knot. Catenanes are a type of molecular architecture with two or more interlocking macrocycles. And a trefoil knot, as its name...
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