New properties of sulfur atom discovered

December 14, 2018

A study led by Prof. Juan Casado, from the Department of Physical Chemistry of the UMA, in collaboration with the University of Oregon (U.S.A.) and Osaka (Japan), which has proved that lone pair electrons that characterize sulfur atom can also repel unpaired or itinerant electrons that are present in their environment.

"This study evidences that the conventional conciliatory behavior of sulfur -electron donor- also shows a hostile side", explains the researcher from the UMA, who adds that these findings demonstrate that sulfur, under some circumstances, can also cause "magnetic repulsion".

Organic diradicals

According to this expert, the diradical molecules (a molecular species with two electrons occupying two "degenerated" molecular orbitals) used in the study -more stable, functional and durable- are critically important in chemistry, as well as in other sciences. For instance, they are associated with the chemical reactivity in combustion or are present in the persistence cycles of tropospheric ozone, and, also, in the future, they will be part of "magnetic plastic".
The results of this research have been published in the magazine "Nature Chemistry". In October, the Professor of Physical Chemistry of the UMA Juan Casado Cordón, its main author, was awarded the "Seniors Research Excellence Award" by the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (RSEQ) in recognition of his outstanding scientific activity in the last ten years.


Justin J. Dressler, Mitsuru Teraoka, Guzmán L. Espejo, Ryohei Kishi, Shota Takamuku, Carlos J. Gómez-García, Lev N. Zakharov, Masayoshi Nakano, Juan Casado & Michael M. Haley. "Thiophene and its sulfur inhibit indenoindenodibenzothiophene diradicals from low-energy lying thermal triplets". Nature, septiembre de 2018.

University of Málaga

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