After nearly 2 centuries of studying the chemistry of carbon, scientists may have identified a new type of bond connecting two carbon atoms. It’s almost twice as long as the longest naturally occurring carbon-carbon bond, which occurs in diamonds.
The researchers stumbled upon stable carbon-carbon bonds of 0.283 to 0.309 nanometer (nm) in a family of novel magnetic plastics that they were studying. The typical carbon-carbon bond in diamond is just 0.154 nm.
Chemists had stretched carbon-carbon bonds only to a length of 0.173 nm, says Joel S. Miller of the University of Utah in Salt
The new extralong bonds share electrons in an unusual way and are much weaker than typical carbon-carbon bonds. Even so, the connections still possess the necessary characteristics to be considered bonds, Miller and his colleagues reported in the Angewandte Chemie International Edition in July.