In synthetic chemistry, so-called element-element bonding can be systematically exploited to assemble small building blocks to obtain structures that are more complex than the “starting material” and can be used for the resource-saving production of more precious materials.
In the newly discovered coupling reaction, molecule A is transformed into four-atom boron chain B
Scientists at Heidelberg University’s Institute of Inorganic Chemistry have discovered a hitherto unknown coupling reaction. Two positively charged compounds of the element boron join to form a new molecule with a chain of four boron atoms. The team headed by Prof. Dr. Hans-Jörg Himmel now intends to investigate the further implications of this unexpected bond formation.
In carbon chemistry, element-element coupling reactions play a crucial role. For example, small building blocks with very few carbon atoms of the kind produced by the steam cracking of crude oil are assembled to generate a broad range of products, including plastics, fuels, lipids and detergents, as well as more complex substances like pharmaceutical agents.
Due to this great significance, a large number of synthesis variants have been developed. In their research work the Heidelberg scientists focus on coupling reactions of this kind with compounds involving the element boron which are similar in structure to the corresponding carbon compounds.
As Professor Himmel explains, the new element-element combinations normally result from a reaction between two electrically neutral or differently polarised atoms, not between two positively or two negatively polarised ones. But now the Heidelberg researchers have discovered a coupling reaction in which two positively charged molecules bond together. This is made possible by so-called multi-centre bonding, which plays a significant role in boron chemistry. “The product of this reaction is a compound with four boron atoms,” says Prof. Himmel. “This in its turn is a promising precursor on the route toward the making of complex boron chains.”
Such compounds of the element boron were unknown so far, says the Heidelberg chemist. He and his team are now investigating the further combination of the four-atom boron chain to form boron chain polymers expected to possess high electrical conductivity and other useful material properties. Such materials would be of interest for electronic and optoelectronic applications, Prof. Himmel concludes. The research results have now been published in “Nature Chemistry”.
Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch | idw
A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences