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Issue 1, 2003
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What is supramolecular?

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The popular adjective ‘supramolecular’ has conflicting meanings in the current literature. It can mean intermolecular, as originally intended, which specifies weak and long interactions. It commonly describes elaborate coordination chemistry, which involves strong and short intramolecular interactions. Supramolecular chemistry is also a philosophy and strategy for the controlled assembly of complex matter. In my opinion we should re-establish terminology that embodies the integrity of fundamental chemical principles, describing intermolecular interactions as such, coordination chemistry as such, and restrict use of the adjective ‘supramolecular’ to the philosophies and strategies of grand assembly.

Graphical abstract: What is supramolecular?

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Article information

25 Oct 2002
27 Nov 2002
First published
06 Dec 2002

New J. Chem., 2003,27, 1-2
Article type

What is supramolecular?

I. Dance, New J. Chem., 2003, 27, 1
DOI: 10.1039/B210559B

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