are a series of organic molecules whose structural formulae
resemble human forms. James Tour
et al. (Rice University
) designed and synthesized these compounds in 2003 as a part of a sequence of chemical education
for young students.
The compounds consist of two benzene
rings connected via a few carbon atoms as the body, four acetylene
units each carrying an alkyl group at their ends which represents the hands and legs, and a 1,3-dioxolane
ring as the head. Tour and his team at Rice University used the NanoPutians in their NanoKids educational outreach program. The goal of this program was to educate children in the sciences in an effective and enjoyable manner. They have made several videos featuring the NanoPutians as anthropomorphic animated characters.