Inorganic chemistry: Towards a noble line

    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130, 6114–6118 (2008) doi:10.1021/ja077835v

    For decades chemists have known that noble gases can subvert their name by forming chemical compounds. No compound demonstrates this point as emphatically as HXeOXeH, a molecule prepared by Leonid Khriachtchev at the University of Helsinki in Finland and his colleagues.

    The compound is almost unique in containing two noble-gas atoms in a single, small molecule, and is possibly the simplest molecule of this type. The structure is like that of a water molecule with a xenon atom inserted into both of the bonds between oxygen and hydrogen. HXeOXeH forms in a photochemical reaction between xenon and water at 45 kelvin. The researchers hope their finding will be the first step towards designing polymers with alternating xenon and oxygen atoms.

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    Inorganic chemistry: Towards a noble line. Nature 453, 431 (2008) doi:10.1038/453431b

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