Chemical reactivity under nanoconfinement

Angela B. Grommet, Moran Feller, Rafal Klajn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Confining molecules can fundamentally change their chemical and physical properties. Confinement effects are considered instrumental at various stages of the origins of life, and life continues to rely on layers of compartmentalization to maintain an out-of-equilibrium state and efficiently synthesize complex biomolecules under mild conditions. As interest in synthetic confined systems grows, we are realizing that the principles governing reactivity under confinement are the same in abiological systems as they are in nature. In this Review, we categorize the ways in which nanoconfinement effects impact chemical reactivity in synthetic systems. Under nanoconfinement, chemical properties can be modulated to increase reaction rates, enhance selectivity and stabilize reactive species. Confinement effects also lead to changes in physical properties. The fluorescence of light emitters, the colours of dyes and electronic communication between electroactive species can all be tuned under confinement. Within each of these categories, we elucidate design principles and strategies that are widely applicable across a range of confined systems, specifically highlighting examples of different nanocompartments that influence reactivity in similar ways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-271
Number of pages16
JournalNature nanotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Chemical reactivity under nanoconfinement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this