Friday, January 30, 2009

Boron Boride

Here's an unusual twist: a single element compound. Think about it. I'm not talking about an allotrope such as all the various forms carbon can take: diamond, graphite, buckyballs... Those "compounds" are made of nothing but covalent bonds and all the bonds are the same. This new compound is an element that is able to ionically bond to itself, a feat that would normally requires a difference in electronegativity between the atoms, and is normally considered an impossibility because there is just one element here. The article I linked to above is in Nature (one way or the other, it's going to cost you) while this article is a good review of not only this work, but also the history of boron research.

To paraphrase George Orwell, "All boron atoms are equal; but some boron atoms are more equal than others."


Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a report of N5(1+) a while ago ~ (10 years), which could, theorectically at least bond with azide??

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