Enormous branched molecules may offer advantages for a host of commercial applications. Photo: Texas A&M.
A process developed by Abdellatif Chouai and Eric E. Simanek of the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, promises to open up industrial scale production of Dendrimers giant molecules with tree-like branches. They suit a variety of applications including coatings and sensors. However, the multiple steps required to make them have thwarted production on a commercial scale. Their method simplifies production by using a so-called uncommitted intermediate, a dendrimer scaffolding that can be built upon in countless ways, say the researchers. The route employs common reaction conditions, inexpensive reagents and aqueous solvents.