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Knot theory in modern chemistry

Horner, Kate E.; Miller, Mark A.; Steed, Jonathan W.; Sutcliffe, Paul M.

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Kate E. Horner


Knot theory is a branch of pure mathematics, but it is increasingly being applied in a variety of sciences. Knots appear in chemistry, not only in synthetic molecular design, but also in an array of materials and media, including some not traditionally associated with knots. Mathematics and chemistry can now be used synergistically to identify, characterise and create knots, as well as to understand and predict their physical properties. This tutorial review provides a brief introduction to the mathematics of knots and related topological concepts in the context of the chemical sciences. We then survey the broad range of applications of the theory to contemporary research in the field.


Horner, K. E., Miller, M. A., Steed, J. W., & Sutcliffe, P. M. (2016). Knot theory in modern chemistry. Chemical Society Reviews, 45(23), 6432-6448.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 17, 2016
Online Publication Date Aug 30, 2016
Publication Date Aug 30, 2016
Deposit Date Oct 26, 2016
Publicly Available Date Aug 30, 2017
Journal Chemical Society Reviews
Print ISSN 0306-0012
Electronic ISSN 1460-4744
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 23
Pages 6432-6448


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