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March 16th, 2009
In the quest to clean water of unwanted pollutants, one of the latest tools is shaped like the roots of a tree and can reach 100 nanometers from tip to tip. This multibranching molecule is based on a dendrimera snowflake-shaped molecule with functionalized junctions that bind targeted contaminants.
"We have produced these things that can bind fluoride, chloride, nitrate, bromide, phosphate," and, in particular, carcinogenic perchlorate, says Mamadou Diallo of the California Institute of Technology. His team's modified dendrimer tailored to capture perchlorate was patented at the end of last year. "We can make these very fast."
American Chemical Society
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