I'm studying molecular motors for a project of mine and I'm trying to understand what a Fjord region is.

It's sort of labeled in the image below but I'm not entirely sure which part.

I would like a suggestion of a book or article that may help me understand what it is?

enter image description here

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Here's another source with some descriptions, probably not as good as in the answer though. $\endgroup$
    – airhuff
    Apr 27 '17 at 18:45

Fjords and bays

Fjord is a term originally developed by chemists studying polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, along with the term bay.

The descriptions aren't rigidly defined in the same way as stereochemical descriptors, but were designed to be 'self-explanatory', following the real world uses of the words1

  • Bay: "a broad inlet of the sea where the land curves inwards."
  • Fjord: "a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs, as in Norway, typically formed by submergence of a glaciated valley."

In an attempt unify the usage of these terms, IUPAC issued a set of guidelines for their usage in 2014.2

enter image description here

Some historical context

The earliest publication of these terms was given in the references above by Harry Heaney, Keith Bartle, Denny Jones, and Peter Lees who were working at the now non-existent Institute of Technology (Bradford, UK). They were studying triphenylene, and trying to find descriptions for the various environments present.

enter image description here

Circumnavigating triphenylene, the British crew sighted two essentially diffe­rent kinds of H's; and Derry Jones spontaneously called one type "bay" and the other "peninsular." They published these descriptive "self-explanatory" names,40 but not without some apprehension. In fact, Professor Jones confessed to having dreamed that referees rejected their manuscript on account of its "bay" and "peninsular" nomencla­ ture


1 Spectrochim. Acta 1966,22,pp941-951; Trans. Farad. Soc. 1967,63,pp2868-287

2 J. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, 2015, 35, pp 161-176

  • $\begingroup$ The arrows make a big difference here in the understandability of the IUPAC drawings. The original drawing in the question lacks an arrow, and is therefore ambiguous on what exactly is the "fjord region". But honestly, these terms seem like an attempt to be far too clever, and I'm not a big fan. $\endgroup$
    – Cody Gray
    Apr 28 '17 at 8:28
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    $\begingroup$ @CodyGray Seems more like they were trying to give a nomenclature that was easily understood just by inspection. Doesn't seem like it worked particularly well; but I don't think the point was to "be clever", someone was just clearly thinking about geographic features when they decided to name them. $\endgroup$
    – JMac
    Apr 28 '17 at 12:09

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