Dr. Puddephatt Highlighted in New Scientist

Professor Emeritus Richard Puddephatt and colleagues have developed the tightest knot ever made. Their work has appeared in Nature Communications, been featured in New Scientist, and has been picked up by the popular news too!

Congratulations, Dr. Puddephatt!

Citation: Li, Z., Zhang, J., Li, G. et al. Self-assembly of the smallest and tightest molecular trefoil knot. Nat Commun 15, 154 (2024).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-44302-y


Molecular knots, whose synthesis presents many challenges, can play important roles in protein structure and function as well as in useful molecular materials, whose properties depend on the size of the knotted structure. Here we report the synthesis by self-assembly of molecular trefoil metallaknot with formula [Au6{1,2-C6H4(OCH2CC)2}3{Ph2P(CH2)4PPh2}3], Au6, from three units of each of the components 1,2-C6H4(OCH2CCAu)2 and Ph2P(CH2)4PPh2. Structure determination by X-ray diffraction revealed that the chiral trefoil knot contains only 54 atoms in the backbone, so that Au6 is the smallest and tightest molecular trefoil knot known to date.

Feature in New Scientist

MSN Article