This model shows the x-ray crystal structure of the most stable self-assembled arsenic cluster discovered so far by Jake Vickaryous and Darren Johnson at the University of Oregon. The image reveals the sequestered environment of the arsenic atoms, shown in purple, after they’ve been trapped by molecules composed of carbon, sulfur and hydrogen atoms (shown in gray, yellow and white, respectively). These molecules are claw-like structures that grab onto the arsenic atoms, preventing them from forming bonds with other types of molecules.
Chemists at the University of Oregon have hit upon a way to build a molecular "claw" that grabs onto arsenic and sequesters it.
The discovery is published in the Nov. 5 issue of Angewandte Chemie International Edition, a premier journal in the field of chemistry.
Since the article was written, the UO team has developed additional ways of capturing arsenic so that it cannot bond with other substances in a laboratory setting, according to Darren Johnson, an assistant professor of chemistry specializing in supramolecular and materials chemistry. Johnson, who joined the UO faculty in 2003, is also affiliated with the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechologies Institute (ONAMI).
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