Two New Games for Carbon, We Hope
Clathrate structures, large polyhedral networks, can be built from any node that favors tetrahedral four-coordination – be it water, SiO2 or group 14 elements. Those constructed of C alone have never been made, even as they are pretty close to diamond in stability. Tao Zeng’s work suggests a strategy for making these, incorporating lithiums into the cavities, and substituting B in the carbon cages around.
Recently CH nanothreads, one-dimensional, probably disordered, completely saturated polymers of benzene have been made and visualized in the slow decompression of benzene at 20 GPa by John Badding’s group at Penn State. Bo Chen in our group has explored the building up of these, through stepwise polymerization of benzene into one-dimensional chain with varying degrees of unsaturation.
And benzene is not the global energy minimum for composition CH. Graphanes, not one, but several, are. They are still waiting to be made, reproducibly. For that matter, what are the most stable structures of stoichiometry CHn? Or N, or CO?
Roald Hoffmann ist ein US-amerikanischer Chemiker, der im Jahre 1981 den Nobelpreis für Chemie erhielt und emeritierter Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters an der Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Er ist im Oktober 2016 auf Einladung von Prof. Dr. Dirk Trauner am CAS.