Archive for August, 2021

Tetra-isopropylmethane and tetra-t-butylmethane.

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

The homologous hydrocarbon series R4C is known for R=Me as neopentane and for R=Et as 3,3-diethylpentane. The next homologue, R=iPr bis(3,3-isopropyl)-2,4-dimethylpentane is also a known molecule[1] for which a crystal structure has been reported (DOI: The final member of the series, R= tbutyl is unknown. Here I have a look at some properties of the last two of these highly hindered hydrocarbons.



  1. S.I. Kozhushkov, R.R. Kostikov, A.P. Molchanov, R. Boese, J. Benet-Buchholz, P.R. Schreiner, C. Rinderspacher, I. Ghiviriga, and A. de Meijere, "Tetracyclopropylmethane: A Unique Hydrocarbon with S4 Symmetry", Angewandte Chemie International Edition, vol. 40, pp. 180-183, 2001.<180::AID-ANIE180>3.0.CO;2-K

Sterically stabilized cyclopropenylidenes. An example of Octopus publishing?

Sunday, August 15th, 2021

Whilst I was discussing the future of scientific publication in the last post, a debate was happening behind the scenes regarding the small molecule cyclopropenylidene. This is the smallest known molecule displaying π-aromaticity, but its high reactivity means that it is unlikely to be isolated in the condensed phase. A question in the discussion asked if substituting it with a large sterically hindering group such as R=Et3C might help prevent its dimerisation and hence allow for isolation of the monomer so that its properties can be studied.


Octopus publishing: dis-assembling the research article into eight components.

Friday, August 13th, 2021

In 2011, I suggested that the standard monolith that is the conventional scientific article could be broken down into two separate, but interlinked components, being the story or narrative of the article and the data on which the story is based. Later in 2018 the bibliography in the form of open citations were added as a distinct third component.[1] Here I discuss an approach that has taken this even further, breaking the article down into as many as eight components and described as “Octopus publishing” for obvious reasons. These are;



  1. D. Shotton, "Funders should mandate open citations", Nature, vol. 553, pp. 129-129, 2018.