Using Force to Make Molecules more Reactive

A Novel Way of Doing Chemistry. ‘Researchers have shown that they can use mechanical force to make a molecule more reactive. By tugging on two sides of a specially designed molecule, chemists have been able to change its shape so that it becomes much more reactive. The researchers were able to control the reactivity of the molecule by applying a mechanical force on its chemical bonds. The energy for such a chemical transformation typically comes from light, heat, or electricity. “The key thing is that force will trigger the molecule to become reactive … and that [reactive state] would go on to do useful and productive chemistry,” says Jeffrey Moore, a chemistry and materials-science professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who published the work in Nature.’



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