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Not all catenanes with oriented rings are topologically chiral

Catenanes that are chiral owing to the relative orientation of their rings have always been referred to as ‘topologically chiral’. It is now shown that although in specific cases the stereochemistry is a topological property of the structure, the underlying stereogenic unit itself is not inherently topological in nature.

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Fig. 1: Diagrams of chiral catenanes and evidence for the observed partial racemization.


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This is a summary of: Pairault, N. et al. A catenane that is topologically achiral despite being composed of oriented rings. Nat. Chem. (2023).

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Not all catenanes with oriented rings are topologically chiral. Nat. Chem. 15, 753–754 (2023).

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