Henry Rzepa's Blog Chemistry with a twist

April 13, 2018

A record polarity for a neutral compound?

In several posts a year or so ago I considered various suggestions for the most polar neutral molecules, as measured by the dipole moment. A record had been claimed[1] for a synthesized molecule of ~14.1±0.7D. I pushed this to a calculated 21.7D for an admittedly hypothetical and unsynthesized molecule. Here I propose a new family of compounds which have the potential to extend the dipole moment for a formally neutral molecule up still further.

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References

  1. J. Wudarczyk, G. Papamokos, V. Margaritis, D. Schollmeyer, F. Hinkel, M. Baumgarten, G. Floudas, and K. Müllen, "Hexasubstituted Benzenes with Ultrastrong Dipole Moments", Angewandte Chemie International Edition, vol. 55, pp. 3220-3223, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201508249

August 29, 2017

WATOC 2017 report.

The triennial conference is this year located in Munich. With 1500 participants and six parallel sessions, this report can give only a flavour of proceedings.

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June 2, 2017

FAIR Research data: Gravitational waves as an example from the astrophysics community.

In 2016, the world heard that gravitational waves had been detected and now a third instance is reported. Given that the data associated with these detections are perhaps amongst the most important instances in recent times, I thought I might take a peek at how it was managed.

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March 5, 2017

Stable “unstable” molecules: a crystallographic survey of cyclobutadienes and cyclo-octatetraenes.

Cyclobutadiene is one of those small iconic molecules, the transience and instability of which was explained theoretically long before it was actually detected in 1965.[1] Given that instability, I was intrigued as to how many crystal structures might have been reported for this ring system, along with the rather more stable congener cyclo-octatetraene. Here is what I found.

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References

  1. L. Watts, J.D. Fitzpatrick, and R. Pettit, "Cyclobutadiene", Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 87, pp. 3253-3254, 1965. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja01092a049

February 15, 2017

The H4 (2+) dication and its bonding.

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.

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February 11, 2017

Na2He: a stable compound of helium and sodium at high pressure.

On February 6th I was alerted to this intriguing article[1] by a phone call, made 55 minutes before the article embargo was due to be released. Gizmodo wanted to know if I could provide an (almost) instant quote. After a few days, this report of a stable compound of helium and sodium still seems impressive to me and I now impart a few more thoughts here.

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References

  1. X. Dong, A.R. Oganov, A.F. Goncharov, E. Stavrou, S. Lobanov, G. Saleh, G. Qian, Q. Zhu, C. Gatti, V.L. Deringer, R. Dronskowski, X. Zhou, V.B. Prakapenka, Z. Konôpková, I.A. Popov, A.I. Boldyrev, and H. Wang, "A stable compound of helium and sodium at high pressure", Nature Chemistry, vol. 9, pp. 440-445, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2716

December 24, 2016

The dipole moments of highly polar molecules: glycine zwitterion.

The previous posts produced discussion about the dipole moments of highly polar molecules. Here to produce some reference points for further discussion I look at the dipole moment of glycine, the classic zwitterion (an internal ion-pair).

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September 1, 2016

Molecule orbitals as indicators of reactivity: bromoallene.

Bromoallene is a pretty simple molecule, with two non-equivalent double bonds. How might it react with an electrophile, say dimethyldioxirane (DMDO) to form an epoxide?[1] Here I explore the difference between two different and very simple approaches to predicting its reactivity. bromoallene

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References

  1. D. Christopher Braddock, A. Mahtey, H.S. Rzepa, and A.J.P. White, "Stable bromoallene oxides", Chemical Communications, vol. 52, pp. 11219-11222, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C6CC06395K

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