Molecular shape sorting

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Molecular shape sorting: Porous solids made from molecular organic cages can separate structural isomers of simple aromatic compounds.

The host–guest properties of the discrete organic cages in solution (as illustrated conceptually on the cover in the beaker) correlate with the solid-state behaviour (as shown above the beaker). The shape-sorting selectivity arises from the intrinsic structure of the cage-like building blocks, suggesting that different cages could be designed to separate other feedstocks (Nature Chem., 2013, 5, 276-281).