7
$\begingroup$

I came across the phrase "Silicone Rubber/Paraffin@Silicon Dioxide" also written as $\ce{SR/pa@SiO2}$, utilising the @ symbol.

How can I understand what this means?

$\endgroup$
18
$\begingroup$

The at symbol @ universally means "at the site" or "at the rate of". It is routinely used in supramolecular chemistry to denote guest@host relationship because

  1. it follows the original designation of denoting the binding site;
  2. its shape resembles a guest (letter "a") entrapped within a host shell (circle sign "○") providing a visual cue for an intuitive image (e.g. see endohedral fullerene).

In the context of the paper by Guo et al. [1] you are referring to, paraffin is encapsulated inside $\ce{SiO2}$ shell (obtained in situ), and these silicon dioxide particles were then embedded in silicone rubber matrix. Here, in the notation SR/Pa@SiO2 the forward slash "/" implies composite material (phase separator), and the at sign "@" refers to host-guest interactions as mentioned before. Here is a brief infographics I roughly created with Inkscape to illustrate the concept:

Infographics

An obligatory reference quotation [2, p. 203]:

3.6.17 At Symbol (@)

The at symbol ( @ ) is most commonly used in email addresses. Its modern use is primarily in accounting (where it means “at the rate of”) and should not be used in scientific writing as a substitute for “at.”

Two legitimate uses of the at symbol are

  • In chemical formulae, the @ is used to denote trapped atoms or molecules. For instance, $\ce{La@C60}$ means lanthanum inside a fullerene cage.
  • In genetics, an at symbol after a gene symbol indicates that it is part of a gene cluster.

References

  1. Guo, Y.; Yang, W.; Jiang, Z.; He, F.; Zhang, K.; He, R.; Wu, J.; Fan, J. Silicone Rubber/Paraffin@silicon Dioxide Form-Stable Phase Change Materials with Thermal Energy Storage and Enhanced Mechanical Property. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 2019, 196, 16–24. DOI: 10.1016/j.solmat.2019.03.034.
  2. The Manual of Scientific Style: A Guide for Authors, Editors, and Researchers, 1st ed.; Rabinowitz, H., Vogel, S., Eds.; Elsevier/Academic Press: Amsterdam; Burlington, MA, 2009. ISBN 978-0-12-373980-3.
| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.