Jacobs Scientists create new giant molecule

Ulrich Kortz, Professor of Chemistry at Jacobs University, and his team successfully synthesized a polyoxometalate with 100 Tungsten and 20 Cerium atoms that has a molar mass of about 30 kilo Dalton. With a maximum diameter of 4.2 nm the inorganic molecule is comparable in size to large complex bio-molecules or even small viruses. The reaction conditions and the molecular structure are now published as cover story of the current issue of Angewandte Chemie (doi: 10.1002/anie.200701422).

[ Aug 08, 2007]  Polyoxometalates are anionic metal-oxygen clusters of large structural diversity with chemical properties, which make them especially interesting for applications in catalysis, but also in materials science and nanotechnology. Ulrich Kortz and his co-workers now achieved the synthethis of the tungstogermanate [Ce20Ge10W100O376(OH)4(H2O)30]56-, which belongs to the polyoxometalates, by condensation of the precursors [α-GeW9O34]10-and Cerium(III) ions in aqueous solution. With about 600 atoms in total, amongst them 100 atoms of the heavy metal Tungsten, the new compound is the third largest molecular polytungstate ever synthesized. In addition it contains the largest number of atoms of the Rare Earth Cerium ever incorporated in such a compound.

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