New Chemical Bricks Made Through Phosphorus Tricks

Science  04 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5480, pp. 737-738
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5480.737

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One approach for stabilizing chemical compounds that would exist only fleetingly or not at all is to substitute an analog for one of the atoms that better accommodates the structure to be formed. Grützmacher reviews one approach (including recent work reported by Kato et al.) that he dubs "the phosphorus trick," in which phosphorus, by substituting for nitrogen, not only stabilizes compounds but allows several chemical reactions to proceed more readily.