University Chemistry ›› 2022, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (9): 2207061.doi: 10.3866/PKU.DXHX202207061

Special Issue: 化学科普(2022)

• Science Education • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Exploring Chemical Structures by Knotting

Haoyue Dong, Zhenzhen Feng, Jiangyan Duan, Hengyu Shi, Jinmei Zhou(), Huijun Zhang()   

  • Received:2022-07-13 Accepted:2022-07-26 Published:2022-09-13
  • Contact: Jinmei Zhou,Huijun Zhang;


The art of knotting plays a pivotal role in Chinese culture. A wide variety of exquisite Chinese knots have been created using one single rope. Chinese knotting not only reflects Chinese history, culture, and personal beliefs, but also represents the wisdom of the Chinese people. Analogous to Chinese knotting, a limited number of chemical elements in the periodic table make up the complex and ever-changing world of matter. By combining the art of knotting with the chemical structures, we created a series of novel Chinese knots with molecular geometries and launched a series of "exploring chemical structures by knotting" science activities. In these activities, participants could understand the creative characteristics of chemistry by making Chinese-knot molecular models, which provided valuable opportunities to introduce the art of chemical structures to the public.

Key words: Molecular structure, Chemical bonding, The art of knotting, Chinese knot, Popularization of chemistry, Cultural confidence


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