Bringing like charges together

The first definitive evidence for a new type of molecular structure with a bond between two negatively charged moieties has been obtained by researchers in the USA. Amar Flood of Indiana University, in Bloomington, and colleagues used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry to investigate the encapsulation of two bisulfate ions in a fullerene cage. The findings could have implications for understanding the behavior of ions enclosed by macromolecules, perhaps even proteins and other biochemicals.