Protons on the move find novel molecular route

Experiment reveals new pathway for hydrogen traveling between molecules

By Rachel Ehrenberg, 18:08 PM March 26, 2012

Some take the road less traveled. Hydrogen atoms can take roads not previously known to exist.

The lone proton — the nucleus of a common hydrogen atom — typically uses a single road — the hydrogen bond — to get from one molecule to another. But now researchers report such a proton traveling to another molecule by different means.

The implications of the new route, described online March 18 in Nature Chemistry, aren’t clear. But scientists are certain that they’ve never seen it before.


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