Posts Tagged ‘Molecule’

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[1]. 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.



  1. J. Lee, K.T. Crampton, N. Tallarida, and V.A. Apkarian, "Visualizing vibrational normal modes of a single molecule with atomically confined light", Nature, vol. 568, pp. 78-82, 2019.

Why do flowers such as roses, peonies, dahlias, delphiniums (etc), exhibit so many shades of colours?

Monday, June 18th, 2018

It was about a year ago that I came across a profusion of colour in my local Park. Although colour in fact was the topic that sparked my interest in chemistry many years ago (the fantastic reds produced by diazocoupling reactions), I had never really tracked down the origin of colours in many flowers. It is of course a vast field. Here I take a look at just one class of molecule responsible for many flower colours, anthocyanidin, this being the sugar-free counterpart of the anthocyanins found in nature.


Aromaticity-induced basicity.

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

The molecules below were discussed in the previous post as examples of highly polar but formally neutral molecules, a property induced by aromatisation of up to three rings. Since e.g. compound 3 is known only in its protonated phenolic form, here I take a look at the basicity of the oxygen in these systems to see if deprotonation of the ionic phenol form to the neutral polar form is viable.


What are the highest bond indices for main group and transition group elements?

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

A bond index (BI) approximately measures the totals of the bond orders at any given atom in a molecule. Here I ponder what the maximum values might be for elements with filled valence shells.


George Olah and the norbornyl cation.

Friday, March 10th, 2017

George Olah passed away on March 8th. He was part of the generation of scientists in the post-war 1950s who had access to chemical instrumentation that truly revolutionised chemistry. In particular he showed how the then newly available NMR spectroscopy illuminated structures of cations in solvents such “Magic acid“. The obituaries will probably mention his famous “feud” with H. C. Brown over the structure of the norbornyl cation (X=CH2+), implicated in the mechanism of many a solvolysis reaction that characterised the golden period of physical organic chemistry just before and after WWII. 


The H4 (2+) dication and its bonding.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

This post arose from a comment attached to the post on Na2He and relating to peculiar and rare topological features of the electron density in molecules called non-nuclear attractors. This set me thinking about other molecules that might exhibit this and one of these is shown below.


Braiding a molecular knot with eight crossings.

Friday, January 20th, 2017

This is one of those posts of a molecule whose very structure is interesting enough to merit a picture and a 3D model. The study[1] reports a molecular knot with the remarkable number of eight crossings.



  1. J.J. Danon, A. Krüger, D.A. Leigh, J. Lemonnier, A.J. Stephens, I.J. Vitorica-Yrezabal, and S.L. Woltering, "Braiding a molecular knot with eight crossings", Science, vol. 355, pp. 159-162, 2017.

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.