Posts Tagged ‘metal’

Imaging normal vibrational modes of a single molecule of CoTPP: a mystery about the nature of the imaged species.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

Previously, I explored (computationally) the normal vibrational modes of Co(II)-tetraphenylporphyrin (CoTPP) as a “flattened” species on copper or gold surfaces for comparison with those recently imaged[cite]10.1038/s41586-019-1059-9[/cite]. The initial intent was to estimate the “flattening” energy. There are six electronic possibilities for this molecule on a metal surface. Respectively positively, or negatively charged and a neutral species, each in either a low or a high-spin electronic state. I reported five of these earlier, finding each had quite high barriers for “flattening” the molecule. For the final 6th possibility, the triplet anion, the SCF (self-consistent-field) had failed to converge, but for which I can now report converged results.


Imaging vibrational normal modes of a single molecule.

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

The topic of this post originates from a recent article which is attracting much attention.[cite]10.1038/s41586-019-1059-9[/cite] The technique uses confined light to both increase the spatial resolution by around three orders of magnitude and also to amplify the signal from individual molecules to the point it can be recorded. To me, Figure 3 in this article summarises it nicely (caption: visualization of vibrational normal modes). Here I intend to show selected modes as animated and rotatable 3D models with the help of their calculation using density functional theory (a mode of presentation that the confinement of Figure 3 to the pages of a conventional journal article does not enable).


Hypervalent hydrogen?

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

I discussed the molecule the molecule CH3F2- a while back. It was a very rare computed example of a system where the added two electrons populate the higher valence shells known as Rydberg orbitals as an alternative to populating the C-F antibonding σ-orbital to produce CH3 and F. The net result was the creation of a weak C-F “hyperbond”, in which the C-F region has an inner conventional bond, with an outer “sheath” encircling the first bond. But this system very easily dissociates to CH3 and F and is hardly a viable candidate for experimental detection.  In an effort to “tune” this effect to see if a better candidate for such detection might be found, I tried CMe3F2-. Here is its story.


How does carbon dioxide coordinate to a metal?

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

Mention carbon dioxide (CO2) to most chemists and its properties as a metal ligand are not the first aspect that springs to mind. Here thought I might take a look at how it might act as such.


Silyl cations?

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

It is not only the non-classical norbornyl cation that has proved controversial in the past. A colleague mentioned at lunch (thanks Paul!) that tri-coordinate group 14 cations such as R3Si+ have also had an interesting history.[cite]10.1021/ja990389u[/cite] Here I take a brief look at some of these systems.


Pyrophoric metals + the mechanism of thermal decomposition of magnesium oxalate.

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

A pyrophoric metal is one that burns spontaneously in oxygen; I came across this phenomenon as a teenager doing experiments at home. Pyrophoric iron for example is prepared by heating anhydrous iron (II) oxalate in a sealed test tube (i.e. to 600° or higher). When the tube is broken open and the contents released, a shower of sparks forms. Not all metals do this; early group metals such as calcium undergo a different reaction releasing carbon monoxide and forming calcium carbonate and not the metal itself. Here as a prelude to the pyrophoric reaction proper, I take a look at this alternative mechanism using calculations.


Molecules of the year? Pnictogen chains and 16 coordinate Cs.

Monday, December 19th, 2016

I am completing my survey of the vote for molecule of the year candidates, which this year seems focused on chemical records of one type or another.


Molecule of the year? “CrN123”, a molecule with three different types of Cr-N bond.

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Here is a third candidate for the C&EN “molecule of the year” vote. This one was shortlisted because it is the first example of a metal-nitrogen complex exhibiting single, double and triple bonds from different nitrogens to the same metal[cite]10.1039/c5sc04608d[/cite] (XUZLUB has a 3D display available at DOI: 10.5517/CC1JYY6M). Since no calculation of its molecular properties was reported, I annotate some here.


The largest C-C-C angle?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

I am now inverting the previous question by asking what is the largest angle subtended at a chain of three connected 4-coordinate carbon atoms? Let’s see if further interesting chemistry can be unearthed.


A wider look at π-complex metal-alkene (and alkyne) compounds.

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Previously, I looked at the historic origins of the so-called π-complex theory of metal-alkene complexes. Here I follow this up with some data mining of the crystal structure database for such structures.