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New Salt Compounds Challenge the Foundation

slo1
Posts: 4,361
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12/30/2013 9:05:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Standard chemistry textbooks say that sodium and chlorine have very different electronegativities, and thus must form an ionic compound with a well-defined composition. Sodium's charge is +1, chlorine's charge is -1; sodium will give away an electron, chlorine wants to take an electron. According to chemistry texts and common sense, the only possible combination of these atoms in a compound is 1:1 -- rock salt, or NaCl.

"We found crazy compounds that violate textbook rules -- NaCl3, NaCl7, Na3Cl2, Na2Cl, and Na3Cl," says Weiwei Zhang, the lead author and visiting scholar at the Oganov lab and Stony Brook's Center for Materials by Design, directed by Oganov. "These compounds are thermodynamically stable and, once made, remain indefinitely; nothing will make them fall apart. Classical chemistry forbids their very existence. Classical chemistry also says atoms try to fulfill the octet rule -- elements gain or lose electrons to attain an electron configuration of the nearest noble gas, with complete outer electron shells that make them very stable. Well, here that rule is not satisfied."
slo1
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12/30/2013 9:08:38 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
This is a great example of how experimental results change the foundation of theory. This finding will cause a ripple of changes in many disciplines.

That is the progress of science, not always being right, but being wise enough to know when a change is needed.
drhead
Posts: 1,475
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1/1/2014 11:45:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/30/2013 9:05:18 AM, slo1 wrote:

"These compounds are thermodynamically stable and, once made, remain indefinitely; nothing will make them fall apart."

This doesn't mean what I think it does, does it? I don't think unbreakable molecules would be a very desirable thing...

In any case, this is an interesting development. If they found potential practical applications with the substance they made during this test, I'd imagine that there are a lot more exotic molecules that can be made with interesting applications. I can only imagine what applications there would be for this in nanotechnology...
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