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Synthetic Lock Binds Some Molecules, Excludes Others

llion-fold," Suslick said. "Such exquisite selectivity is very much the way that living systems control chemical reactions."

It is also the way that industrial chemists manipulate many chemical feedstocks. For example, the improvement of octane ratings in gasoline often makes use of shape-selective catalysts called zeolites that can select for the formation of high-octane molecules during the reforming of crude oil based on the molecular shape.

Suslick and his research group are interested in using such synthetic receptors as shape-selective catalysts and sensors. For example, by controlling access of molecules by their shape, oxidation can be carefully directed to specific sites in complex molecules. As another example, the ability to detect molecules on the basis of their shapes is extremely important in the development of artificial noses and other chemical sensors.


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Contact: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor
kloeppel@uiuc.edu
217-244-1073
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
4-Feb-1999


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