Posts Tagged ‘bonded systems’

The importance of being complete.

Monday, September 26th, 2011
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To (mis)quote Oscar Wilde again, ““To lose one methyl group may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” Here, I refer to the (past) tendency of molecular modellers to simplify molecular structures. Thus in 1977, quantum molecular modelling, even at the semi-empirical level, was beset by lost groups. One of my early efforts (DOI: 10.1021/ja00465a005) was selected for study because it had nothing left to lose; the mass spectrometric fragmentation of the radical cations of methane and ethane. Methyl, phenyl and other “large” groups were routinely replaced by hydrogen in order to enable the study. Cations indeed were always of interest to modellers; the relative lack of electrons almost always meant unusual or interesting structures and reactions (including this controversial species, DOI: 10.1021/ja00444a012). Inured to such functional loss, we modellers forgot that (unless in a mass spectrometer), cations have to have a counter anion. Here I explore one example of the model being complete(d).