Scientists have discovered how to make polyhedral cages that are so tiny they can capture ions and molecules, and cut them off from reacting. These self-assembling supramolecular cage are crystal lattices, and they're so tiny, the internal volume only makes up 2,200 cubic anstroms.

The cages are made of tiles of G3NO3 and HSPB, which fit together using 72 hydrogen bonds to create a 3D polyhedron - a truncated octahedron to be precise. So why is it useful to be able to make these tiny little cages? By using a device like this, it's possible to sequester parts of a solution, and delay them interacting with other objects. Imagine a battery which only draws power when it's in use, and won't run itself dry sitting in a drawer for years.

Since these objects are regular in size and self-assembling, there's also great potential for them to be used as a new nanomaterial to create sturdy and light structures.


Any bets as to how long before we see a nano-D20?