PerspectiveChemistry

The Beauty of Symmetry

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Science  02 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5620, pp. 749-750
DOI: 10.1126/science.1084991

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Summary

The Cmolecule has the highest symmetry that a molecule can have. In his Perspective, Müller discusses more complex molecular clusters that have a similarly high symmetry and investigates some principles underlying their formation. He highlights the reports by Bai et al. and Moses et al., who have synthesized complex fullerene-like clusters with nearly spherical shapes. Because they are often inert and stable, highly symmetric spherical molecules can be attractive for applications in nanotechnology, especially if other desirable properties such as porosity are guaranteed.