Encapsulation of methane and other small molecules in a self-assembling superstructure

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Science  04 Mar 1994:
Vol. 263, Issue 5151, pp. 1267-1268
DOI: 10.1126/science.8122107


Physical inclusion of small molecules in larger structural lattices is well known in the crystalline state and is a common feature of the chemistry of zeolites. In the liquid state, a variety of synthetic macrocyclic molecules are available to complex and contain smaller guest species. An alternative strategy for binding is explored: assembly of cavity-forming structures from small subunits. Encapsulation of small guest molecules such as methane can be achieved with a synthetic structure that assembles reversibly through hydrogen bonding.