Molecular Knots

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The first synthetic molecular trefoil knot was prepared
in the late 1980s. However, it is only in the last few years that
more complex small-molecule knot topologies have been
realized through chemical synthesis. The steric restrictions
imposed on molecular strands by knotting can impart significant
physical and chemical properties, including chirality, strong and
selective ion binding, and catalytic activity. As the number and
complexity of accessible molecular knot topologies increases it
will become increasingly useful for chemists to adopt the knot
terminology employed by other disciplines. Here we review
synthetic strategies towards molecular knots and outline the
principles of knot, braid and tangle theory appropriate to
chemistry and molecular structure.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Early online date6 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017