R3Si+--Free at Last

Science  02 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5582, pp. 785-786
DOI: 10.1126/science.1075469

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Silicon chemistry resembles that of carbon, the element directly above it in the periodic table, but there are also important differences. Efforts to make a tri-coordinate silicon cation, the analog to the important carbocation reaction intermediates, have faced substantial problems, leading some researchers to believe that they cannot be isolated. In his Perspective, Gaspar highlights the report by Kim et al., whose crystal structure of a tri-coordinate silicon cation appears to lay the controversy to rest.