New reaction cleaves dinitrogen, brings carbon and nitrogen together
To break some chemical bonds you need to know a guy, who knows a guy who knows a compound. Scientists ordered just such a hit and have broken two of the toughest bonds in chemistry in the laboratory equivalent of broad daylight. The reaction yields a new chemical connection and could lead to more direct routes for making various drugs or other biologically important compounds.
In the new work, a metal complex and carbon monoxide conspire to cleave the triple bond that connects two nitrogen atoms, one of nature’s strongest chemical bonds. Busting apart bonded nitrogen has always been a daunting task. Even when accomplished, it hasn’t necessarily yielded useful products.
The new reaction yields compounds with carbon-nitrogen bonds and proceeds at mild-mannered temperatures and pressures, the researchers report December 13 in Nature Chemistry. The reaction avoids the costly chemical detour of having to make ammonia (nitrogen and hyd