Energy & Green Tech

Outstanding performance of organic solar cell using tin oxide

Organic solar cells have a photoactive layer that is made from polymers and small molecules. The cells are very thin, can be flexible, and are easy to make. However, the efficiency of these cells is still much below that ...


One step closer to fire-safe, recyclable lithium-metal batteries

To power our increasingly electrified society, energy storage technology must evolve and adapt to meet the growing demand. Lithium-ion batteries, already essential to myriad technology, will require dramatic improvements ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

A new type of hybrid colloidal quantum dot/organic solar cells

Solution-processed semiconductors, including materials such as perovskites and quantum dots (i.e., small particles of matter in the quantum size regime), are substances with a conductivity ranging between that of insulators ...


Affordable and mobile purification of dialysis water

People who suffer from end stage renal disease frequently undergo dialysis on a fixed schedule. For patients this artificial washing of the blood is a major burden. To remove toxins from the blood, large quantities of dialysis ...

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Small molecule

In pharmacology and biochemistry, a small molecule is an organic compound that is not a polymer. Biopolymers such as nucleic acids, proteins, and polysaccharides (such as starch or cellulose) are not small molecules, although their constituent monomers—ribo- or deoxyribonucleotides, amino acids, and monosaccharides, respectively—are often considered to be. Very small oligomers are also usually considered small molecules, such as dinucleotides, peptides such as the antioxidant glutathione, and disaccharides such as sucrose.

While small molecules almost always have a lower molecular weight than biopolymers, a very small protein with a defined fold, such as the artificial ten-amino-acid protein chignolin[1], can indeed be smaller than some exceptionally large small molecules such as triglycerides.

Small molecules can have a variety of biological functions, serving as cell signalling molecules, as tools in molecular biology, as drugs in medicine, and in countless other roles. These compounds can be natural (such as secondary metabolites) or artificial (such as antiviral drugs); they may have a beneficial effect against a disease (such as FDA approved drugs) or may be detrimental (such as teratogens and carcinogens).

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