Chemical and engineering news (C&EN) is asking people to vote for their molecule of the year from six highlighted candidates. This reminded me of the history of internet-based “molecules of the moment“. It is thought that the concept originated in December 1995 here at Imperial and in January 1996 at Bristol University by Paul May and we were joined by Karl Harrison at Oxford shortly thereafter. Quite a few more such sites followed this concept, differentiated by their time intervals of weeks, months or years. The genre is well suited for internet display because of plugins or “helpers” such as Rasmol, Chime, Jmol and now JSmol which allow the three dimensions of molecular structures to be explored by the reader. Here I discuss a second candidate from the C&EN list; a ferrocene-based Ferris wheel, (DOI for 3D model: 10.5517/CCDC.CSD.CC1JPKYQ) originating from research carried out at Imperial by Tim Albrecht, Nick Long and colleagues.
- M.S. Inkpen, S. Scheerer, M. Linseis, A.J.P. White, R.F. Winter, T. Albrecht, and N.J. Long, "Oligomeric ferrocene rings", Nature Chemistry, vol. 8, pp. 825-830, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2553