CH5+: The Cheshire Cat Smiles

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  02 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5411, pp. 59-61
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5411.59

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Sometimes, even seemingly simple molecules can be extremely hard to characterize. One such molecule, protonated methane (CH), has resisted structural characterization by molecular spectroscopy since its discovery by mass spectrometry in the 1950s. CHis implicated as a reactive intermediate in hydrocarbon reactions and may play a role in astrochemical reactions, but its highly fluxional character and special bonding have complicated characterization. Marx and Parrinello describe the theoretical and experimental efforts to capture this elusive molecule's properties that have led to the successful acquisition of a high-resolution infrared spectrum of free CHby White et al. (page 135).