Louis Pasteur discovered the chirality of chemical substances in 1848. At that time, he lived in Strasbourg, the capital of a French wine region. Using a microscope, he was analyzing sodium ammonium tartrate crystals that form during fermentation of grape juice when he observed two similar but not identical crystal shapes. The two distinct shapes were non-superimposable mirror images of each other. A few years later, Pasteur concluded that the mirror asymmetry of these crystals is a consequence of the chirality of the constituent molecules. Furthermore, he determined that solutions of chiral compounds are optically active, rotating planes of linearly polarized light in equal magnitude but opposite directions. This conclusion became the foundation of stereochemistry, which is integral to many chemical and engineering disciplines, such as organic chemistry and physical chemistry.
Like molecules, nanostructures can also be chiral. In the past decade, increasing attention has been paid to the synthesis of diverse chiral inorganic nanostructures, as well as their technological implementations. Scientists want to extend the concepts of mirror asymmetry from chemical and biological molecules to nanoscale particles and...
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