Figure 1: Caught in a trap. | Nature

Figure 1: Caught in a trap.

From: Molecular crystal balls

Figure 1

a, Kawamichi et al.1 have stabilized and observed the crystal structure of an elusive hemiaminal intermediate that is transiently formed during the reaction of an amine and an aldehyde to form a Schiff base. b, They did this by performing the reaction within the restrictive and orderly confines of a crystalline coordination network (a cage-like molecular structure) at low temperatures. The authors trapped amine reactants as guest molecules in the network as it self-assembled from its constituent parts — organic 'linker' molecules and zinc ions that act as nodes between the linkers. In the network structure, the amines are shown in green, and one is highlighted in the red box.

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