Sculpting a molecular trap

Molecular cages have always been of interest to chemists. Now, a team at the University at Buffalo has sculpted a novel cage using bottlebrush molecules that form tiny, organic tubes whose interior walls carry a negative charge. Such a structure might selectively encapsulate positively charged particles. The team was also able to tailor the precise size of their traps too. Writing in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, they explain how they could capture particles just 2.8 nanometers in diameter, while excluding particles just 1.5 nanometers bigger. The team says their traps could be used in purification and separation processes for nanotechnology.