Diamondoid Hydrocarbons--Delving into Nature's Bounty

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Science  03 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5603, pp. 52-53
DOI: 10.1126/science.1079630

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Small diamondoids-hydrocarbon molecules with a three-dimensional structure whose carbon-carbon framework constitutes the fundamental repeating unit in the diamond lattice-were first synthesized in the 1950s. However, synthetic methods were unable to produce larger diamondoids. In his Perspective, Marchand highlights the report by Dahl et al., who have isolated such higher diamondoids from crude oil. The work should rekindle interest in these unusual materials, which may find use in pharmaceutical and nanotechnological applications.