I was intending to write a post regarding an interesting paper on o-phenylene polymers. This paper describes experiments and computations on the hexamer, with particular attention paid to arene-arene interactions.1 These compounds fold into a helix, which has obvious application to many biological systems (DNA and the α-helix of peptides).

One of the things I am attempting to convey in this blog is the advantage of electronic communication in the sciences. In particular, I incorporate 3-dimensional structures of molecules in a way that allows the reader to interact with the molecule through a Java applet. (If you haven’t done this yet, any of the 3-D static images in this blog are actually linked to active structures – simply click on them and allow the Java applet to load.)

Now the paper by Hartley and co-workers does include supporting information with the coordinates of the different conformers of the o-phenylene hexamer, and I was all set to create images and incorporate the active molecules within a post. However, the pdf version of the supporting materials, while looking fine when viewed, actually has destroyed the data. I cannot copy-and-paste the coordinates into any program – the coordinates are completely corrupted! This is yet another example of how pdf is perhaps one of the worst choices for data deposition, as Peter Murray-Rust has often noted in his blog.

So until the supporting materials are fixed in some way, I will not, really can not, write up a post on it. Authors please remember to submit useful supporting materials!


(1) Mathew, S. M.; Engle, J. T.; Ziegler, C. J.; Hartley, C. S. "The Role of Arene–Arene Interactions in the Folding of ortho-Phenylenes," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 6714-6722, DOI: 10.1021/ja4026006.