Molecular cages to the rescue

X-ray crystallography has shaped modern chemistry. It is arguably the most powerful tool for molecular structural analysis. But it suffers from one big drawback: it can only analyse materials that form well-defined crystals. This may now be about to change. Researchers in Japan have used ‘crystal sponges’ to hold molecules that can’t be crystallised, allowing them to be analysed using x-ray crystallography.

Molecular cages to end crystallisation nightmareChemistry World, 27 March 2013.

Image credit: Yasuhide Inokuma