Archive for May 27th, 2019

Startling bonds: revisiting C⩸N+, via the helium bond in N≡C-He+.

Monday, May 27th, 2019

Although the small diatomic molecule known as dicarbon or C2 has been known for a long time, its properties and reactivity have really only been determined via its very high temperature generation. My interest started in 2010, when I speculatively proposed here that the related isoelectronic species C⩸N+ might sustain a quadruple bond. Shortly thereafter, a torrent of theoretical articles started to appear in which the idea of a quadruple bond to carbon was either supported or rejected. Clearly more experimental evidence was needed. The recent appearance of a Chemrxiv pre-print entitled “Room-temperature chemical synthesis of C2“.[1] claims to provide just this! Using the synthetic scheme outlined below, they trapped “C2” with a variety of reagents (see Figure 2A in their article), concluding that the observed reactivity best matched that of singlet “biradicaloid” C2 sustaining a quadruple bond.



  1. K. Miyamoto, S. Narita, Y. Masumoto, T. Hashishin, M. Kimura, M. Ochiai, and M. Uchiyama, "Room-Temperature Chemical Synthesis of C2", 2019.