Electric switch makes helix change hands

Elisabeth Ratcliffe writes about a hot ChemComm article for Chemistry World

Electric fields can switch both the net dipole moment and the helical handedness of helical supramolecular structures, according to a theoretical study by scientists in India.

Benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide (BTA) molecules self-assemble, by hydrogen bonding, into columnar structures with a macrodipole moment along their stacking direction. Each BTA molecule can form three hydrogen bonds by using oxygen atoms in the amide groups and the direction of these hydrogen bonds determines the direction of the dipole moment. Read the full article in Chemistry World┬╗

Application of an electric field in the direction opposite to that of the macrodipole reverses the handedness of the structure

You can read the original journal article in ChemComm – it’s free to download until 14 October 2015:
External electric field reverses helical handedness of a supramolecular columnar stack
Karteek K. Bejagam, Chidambar Kulkarni, Subi J. George and Sundaram Balasubramanian´┐Ż
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC05569E, Communication

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