For humans and robots alike, handling tiny amounts of solid reagents—say, one milligram or less—is fiddly work. Now researchers have developed an ingenious workaround: simply coat the reagents onto small, easy-to-dispense glass beads (Angew. Chem. 2019, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201900536). Dubbed ChemBeads, these granules are roughly 250 µm wide and can be loaded with more than 300 different solids, including catalysts, ligands, and inorganic bases, which remain stable for more than 18 months. Since a reagent makes up only 1–20% of a ChemBead’s mass, it’s possible to dole out manageable milligrams of beads to deliver micrograms of reagent.
To read more about ChemBeads, check out the full story by Mark Peplow.
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