Delaware researchers set new chemical world record

November 22nd, 2007 - 6:36 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov.22 (ANI): Chemists from the University of Delaware, in collaboration with a colleague at the University of Wisconsin, have set a new world record for the shortest chemical bond ever recorded between two metals, in this case, two atoms of chromium.
The distance — a minuscule 1.803 Angstroms, which is on the order of a billionth of the thickness of a human hair.
Sometimes things like this just happen, said Klaus Theopold, professor and chairperson of the University of Delawares Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Theopold and Kevin Kreisel, who graduated with his doctorate from the university in August and is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin, made the finding, working with research associate Glenn Yap and postdoctoral fellow Olga Dmitrenko, both from the University of Delaware, and Clark Landis, a colleague from the University of Wisconsin.
The research has been reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
We discovered this interesting looking molecule and realized that it had an extremely short distance between the metal atoms, Theopold said.
Using an analytical technique called X-ray diffraction, the scientists were able to look directly at the atomic structure of the new molecule and measure the distance between the chromium atoms.
A rule-of-thumb in chemistry, Theopold said, is that bond length and bond strength go together, so it’s likely that the metal-metal bond is a strong one, although Theopold said no one knows for sure.
Before the University of Delaware discovery, Professor Theopold said, the last record, achieved by researchers at Texas A and M University, stood for nearly 30 years. (ANI)

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