Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

There will be scheduled maintenance work beginning on Saturday 15th June 2019 at 8:30 am through to Sunday 16th June 2019 at 11:30 pm (BST).

During this time our website may be temporarily affected. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.

Issue 20, 2019
Previous Article Next Article

Enantioseparation by crystallization using magnetic substrates

Author affiliations


Enantiospecific crystallization of the three amino acids asparagine (Asn), glutamic acid hydrochloride (Glu·HCl) and threonine (Thr), induced by ferromagnetic (FM) substrates, is reported. The FM substrates were prepared by evaporating nickel capped with a thin gold layer on standard silicon wafers. Magnets were positioned underneath the substrate with either their North (N) or South (S) poles pointing up. Asymmetric induction, controlled by the magnetic substrates, was demonstrated for the crystallization of the pure enantiomers and was then extended for the racemic mixtures of Asn and Glu·HCl. In the case of the solution of the pure enantiomers, the L enantiomer was crystallized preferentially at one pole of the magnet and the D enantiomer at the other. Consequently, the racemates of Asn and Glu·HCl undergo separation under the influence of the magnetic substrate. With Thr, however, despite the enantiospecific interactions of the pure enantiomers with the FM, no separation of the emerging crystals could be achieved with the racemates, although they crystallize as conglomerates, implying differences taking place in the crystallization step. The results reported here are not directly related to the magnetic field, but rather to the aligned spins within the ferromagnets. The findings provide a novel method for resolving enantiomers by crystallization and offer a new perspective for a possible role played by magnetic substrates regarding the origin of chirality in nature.

Graphical abstract: Enantioseparation by crystallization using magnetic substrates

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 07 Feb 2019, accepted on 08 Apr 2019 and first published on 10 Apr 2019

Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C9SC00663J
Chem. Sci., 2019,10, 5246-5250
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
  •   Request permissions

    Enantioseparation by crystallization using magnetic substrates

    F. Tassinari, J. Steidel, S. Paltiel, C. Fontanesi, M. Lahav, Y. Paltiel and R. Naaman, Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 5246
    DOI: 10.1039/C9SC00663J

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author