Henry Rzepa's Blog Chemistry with a twist

November 5, 2013

Multiple personalities of Magnesium.

Filed under: Interesting chemistry — Tags: , , , , — Henry Rzepa @ 5:40 pm

The following is a short question in a problem sheet associated with introductory organic chemistry.


July 4, 2009

Molecular toys: Tetrahedral cavities

Filed under: Interesting chemistry — Tags: , , , — Henry Rzepa @ 5:16 pm

An earlier post described how a (spherical) halide anion fitted snugly into a cavity generated by the simple molecule propanone, itself assembled by sodium cations coordinating to the oxygen. A recent elaboration of this theme, reminiscent of the children’s toys where objects have to be fitted into the only cavity that matches their shape, Nitschke and co-workers report the creation of a molecule with a tetrahedral rather than a spherical cavity (DOI: 10.1126/science.1175313 ), into which another but much smaller tetrahedral molecule is fitted.  The small molecule is P4, in which each of the three valencies of the P atom is directed to a corner of the tetrahedron. The large molecule  comprises four Fe atoms. These are each octahedrally coordinated with six ligand sites, three of which mimic the P atoms in also being directed towards the remaining three vertices of a tetrahedron.


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