Clever way to break the nitrogen-nitrogen bond | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Clever way to break the nitrogen-nitrogen bond

New reaction cleaves dinitrogen, brings carbon and nitrogen together

1:01pm, December 13, 2010

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

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content