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The model host
A molecular material that inverts like an umbrella blown inside-out is the surprise discovery of a study into host–guest chemistry.
Molecular ‘host’ materials, which can incorporate small guest molecules have applications ranging from separation of chemical mixtures to gas storage or sensing.
Now, a team led by Kanazawa University researchers has examined the chemistry of a vanadium oxide host material, in which 12 units of VO5 arrange themselves in a bowl-shaped structure. The bowl’s cavity is the perfect size for a carbon dioxide molecule.
Using X-ray analysis, the team imaged the structure with the guest molecule in place. They then heated the material in a vacuum to remove the guest and imaged the structure again. The researchers discovered that stripped of its guest, one of the square pyramid-shaped VO5 units had flipped inside out to fill the bowl’s void.
- Angewandte Chemie International Edition 57, 16051–16055 (2018). doi: 10.1002/anie.201809120
|Kanazawa University (KU), Japan||0.80|
|The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Japan||0.20|
|Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Japan||0|