Chiral selection on inorganic crystalline surfaces

Nat Mater. 2003 Jun;2(6):367-74. doi: 10.1038/nmat879.


From synthetic drugs to biodegradable plastics to the origin of life, the chiral selection of molecules presents both daunting challenges and significant opportunities in materials science. Among the most promising, yet little explored, avenues for chiral molecular discrimination is adsorption on chiral crystalline surfaces - periodic environments that can select, concentrate and possibly even organize molecules into polymers and other macromolecular structures. Here we review experimental and theoretical approaches to chiral selection on inorganic crystalline surfaces - research that is poised to open this new frontier in understanding and exploiting surface-molecule interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Biopolymers / analysis
  • Biopolymers / chemistry*
  • Biopolymers / isolation & purification
  • Crystallization / methods*
  • Crystallography / methods*
  • Inorganic Chemicals / chemistry*
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Metals / chemistry
  • Minerals / chemistry
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Surface Properties


  • Biopolymers
  • Inorganic Chemicals
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Metals
  • Minerals