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Supramolecular chemistry

Phosphorus caged

Violent criminals are imprisoned to keep them under control. Similarly, incarceration in a molecular jail stops white phosphorus from bursting into flames — but on release, it regains its fiery character.

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Figure 1: Molecular prisons.
Figure 2: X-ray crystal structure of the host–guest complex, as obtained by Mal and colleagues1.


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Raymond, K. Phosphorus caged. Nature 460, 585–586 (2009).

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