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The combination of addressable synthetic macromolecules with proteins of precise structure and function often leads to materials with unique properties, as is now shown by the efficient multi-site initiation of polymer growth inside the cavity of a virus capsid.
Two-dimensional polymers can serve to organize chemical functionality periodically over large areas, but their rational synthesis has remained limited. Now, a free-standing, single-layer polymer sheet has been prepared and isolated through a two-step procedure — a photochemical reaction within a layered organic crystal followed by exfoliation.