Lefty or righty molecules lend a hand to material structures

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Materials scientist Edwin Thomas aids effort to build bottom-up chiral polymers with unique functions
As below, so above. That seems to be an operating principle for molecules that start with a basic chirality — or “handed-ness” — and pass it on as they combine into larger structures. An international team that included Rice University materials scientist Edwin Thomas pried a new, fundamental detail from its bottom-up creation of several block copolymers, synthetic materials that naturally assemble themselves from small building blocks.

A reconstruction of block copolymers as seen through an electron microscope clearly shows how they follow the chirality, or handedness, established by their basic molecules and grow into spiraling structures that twist left or right. Graphic by Rong-Ming Ho

Link: https://news.rice.edu/2019/02/11/lefty-or-righty-molecules-lend-a-hand-to-material-structures/