Scientists have designed a macrocycle that can completely surround a small molecule like a suit and protect it from a strong base. This reversible suiting strategy could find applications as protecting groups in organic synthesis and the design of molecular machines.
Protecting groups alter the reactivity of organic molecules by shielding functional groups from other reactants. Mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs) are linked structures that require a covalent bond to be broken to separate them, which could make them useful protecting groups.
Read the full story by Harriet Brewerton on Chemistry World.