The beauty of knots at the molecular level.

Imported: 08 May '16 | Published: 26 Oct '11

Jean-Pierre JP Sauvage, David B DB Amabilino

Topics in current chemistry

Abstract: What makes a given object look beautiful to the observer, be it in the macroscopic world or at the molecular level? This very general question will be briefly addressed at the beginning of this essay, in relation to contemporary molecular chemistry and biology, leading to the general statement that, most of the time, beauty is tightly connected to function as well as to the cultural background of the observer. The main topic of the present article will be that of topologically non-trivial molecules or molecular ensembles and the fascination that such species have exerted on molecular or solid state chemists. Molecules with a graph identical to Kuratowski's K₅ or K₃,₃ graphs are indeed highly attractive from an aesthetical viewpoint, but perhaps even more fascinating and beautiful are molecular knots. A general discussion will be devoted to these compounds, which are still considered as exotic species because... Read More

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