Sticky when dry

Is a nanoscale hydrophobic bowl wet or dry when dissolved in water? It turns out that the answer depends on the architecture of its rim. A molecular host decorated with four methyl groups around its rim pointing inward, rather than up, has now been shown to expel water from the bowl, making it dry and sticky.

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Fig. 1: Context-dependent hydration of a molecular host.


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Correspondence to Shekhar Garde.

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Garde, S. Sticky when dry. Nat. Chem. 12, 587–588 (2020).

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