Scientists have tied the strongest molecular knot

Untangling a lace that has been pulled in a knot is a rather tedious activity and requires calmness and patience. Another thing is when we talk about nodes consisting of hundreds of molecules about 20 nanometers in size. Patience is certainly not enough here. It is these structures that are currently being dealt with by researchers at the University of Manchester.

The knot they created contains eight intersections in a 192-atom closed loop of several molecular strands "woven" around metal ions. A chemical catalyst was used to close the loops, which fused the ends of the strands together.

Professor David Lee of the University of Manchester School of Chemistry explains that creating such intersecting structures is akin to knitting. According to him, the 8-node complex structure is the most complex molecule ever created by scientists.

According to scientists, the ability of molecules to form various types of knots affects the strength and elasticity of materials. The ability to regulate these properties at the molecular level opens up prospects for the creation of new ultra-strong and flexible materials.