For the First Time, a Five-Fold Bond

Oct 14, 2005

Chemists at UC Davis have made the first stable compound with a five-fold bond between two metal atoms. The work with chromium could give researchers new insights into the nature of chemical bonding.

Much of chemistry is about understanding how bonds are made and broken. For most of the history of chemistry, only single, double or triple bonds were known. Multiple bonds are particularly important in carbon chemistry, but only certain metals are theoretically capable of more than triple bonds, said Philip Power, professor of chemistry at UC Davis and senior author on the paper.

The dark red crystals were synthesized by Tailuan (Peter) Nguyen, a graduate student in Power's laboratory. The chromium-based compound is stable at room temperature but decomposes in the presence of water, and spontaneously ignites when exposed to air.

To make the compound, Nguyen and Power attached large carbon-based molecules to chromium atoms, constraining how they could behave. They were then able to coax the chromium atoms to bond with each other. The multiple bonding was confirmed by X-ray crystallography and magnetic measurements.

As far as we know, no comparable compound exists in nature, Power said.

In addition to Nguyen and Power, other authors on the paper were postdoctoral researcher Andrew Sutton, theorist Marcin Brynda and crystallographer James Fettinger at the UC Davis chemistry department; and Gary Long, professor of chemistry at the University of Missouri, Rolla. Peter Klavins and Long Pham at the UC Davis physics department carried out magnetic measurements for the study.

The work is published online in Science Express and will appear in the print version of the journal Science later this year.

Source: UC Davis

Explore further: New filter could advance terahertz data transmission

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UK mini-laboratory catches up with double comet

Aug 05, 2014

This week, on 6 August, a mini-laboratory developed and built at the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council's (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is due to rendezvous with a comet.

Recommended for you

New filter could advance terahertz data transmission

Feb 27, 2015

University of Utah engineers have discovered a new approach for designing filters capable of separating different frequencies in the terahertz spectrum, the next generation of communications bandwidth that ...

The super-resolution revolution

Feb 27, 2015

Cambridge scientists are part of a resolution revolution. Building powerful instruments that shatter the physical limits of optical microscopy, they are beginning to watch molecular processes as they happen, ...

Precision gas sensor could fit on a chip

Feb 27, 2015

Using their expertise in silicon optics, Cornell engineers have miniaturized a light source in the elusive mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectrum, effectively squeezing the capabilities of a large, tabletop laser onto a 1-millimeter ...

A new X-ray microscope for nanoscale imaging

Feb 27, 2015

Delivering the capability to image nanostructures and chemical reactions down to nanometer resolution requires a new class of x-ray microscope that can perform precision microscopy experiments using ultra-bright ...

New research signals big future for quantum radar

Feb 26, 2015

A prototype quantum radar that has the potential to detect objects which are invisible to conventional systems has been developed by an international research team led by a quantum information scientist at the University ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.