Catching radical molecules before they disappear

December 13, 2017

While in most molecules, each electron finds a partner to pair up with, some electrons in radical molecules are left alone and unpaired. This configuration grants radicals with some unusual and interesting properties, which disappear as soon as the radicals react or interact with other molecules. It has been difficult to generate relatively stable radicals, because they react and change in the blink of an eye, but researchers from the Center for Self-Assembly and Complexity, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS, South Korea) succeeded in synthesizing four new kinds of stabilized radicals.

Unlike other molecules, some radicals have aligned spins, which confers them ferromagnetic properties, meaning that they can be attracted by a magnetic field. Due to these peculiar properties, radicals are likely to find applications in various fields, such as rechargeable batteries, molecular spintronics, and molecular magnetism.

IBS scientists developed a strategy to stabilize oxime radicals, using N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs), as the latter can share their electrons to stabilize the unpaired electrons of the radicals. This result is particularly interesting as organic radicals are known to be very difficult to synthesize because they are more unstable than metal-containing radicals.

The radical structures were confirmed by single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis at Pohang Accelerator Laboratory and their properties were verified by electron paramagnetic resonance. The experimental results agreed well with the density functional theory.

The same research group has also recently stabilized triazenyl radicals and used them as cathode materials for rechargeable lithium ion batteries. In the future, the researchers are taking up the challenge of producing more radical chemicals that have yet to be synthesized.

Institute for Basic Science

Related Electrons Articles from Brightsurf:

One-way street for electrons
An international team of physicists, led by researchers of the Universities of Oldenburg and Bremen, Germany, has recorded an ultrafast film of the directed energy transport between neighbouring molecules in a nanomaterial.

Mystery solved: a 'New Kind of Electrons'
Why do certain materials emit electrons with a very specific energy?

Sticky electrons: When repulsion turns into attraction
Scientists in Vienna explain what happens at a strange 'border line' in materials science: Under certain conditions, materials change from well-known behaviour to different, partly unexplained phenomena.

Self-imaging of a molecule by its own electrons
Researchers at the Max Born Institute (MBI) have shown that high-resolution movies of molecular dynamics can be recorded using electrons ejected from the molecule by an intense laser field.

Electrons in the fast lane
Microscopic structures could further improve perovskite solar cells

Laser takes pictures of electrons in crystals
Microscopes of visible light allow to see tiny objects as living cells and their interior.

Plasma electrons can be used to produce metallic films
Computers, mobile phones and all other electronic devices contain thousands of transistors, linked together by thin films of metal.

Flatter graphene, faster electrons
Scientists from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel developed a technique to flatten corrugations in graphene layers.

Researchers develop one-way street for electrons
The work has shown that these electron ratchets create geometric diodes that operate at room temperature and may unlock unprecedented abilities in the illusive terahertz regime.

Photons and electrons one on one
The dynamics of electrons changes ever so slightly on each interaction with a photon.

Read More: Electrons News and Electrons Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to