PerspectiveChemistry

Superheavy carbonyls

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Science  19 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6203, pp. 1451-1452
DOI: 10.1126/science.1259349

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Summary

Elements with atomic numbers Z > 94 are radioactive and cannot be found naturally in Earth. Efforts to create these elements, particularly the superheavy elements (Z ≥ 104), in the laboratory typically use “hot fusion” reactions involving extremely high temperatures. On page 1491 of this issue, Even et al. (1) show how these atoms can be cooled down and used to synthesize a new class of chemical compounds, the superheavy metal carbonyls. The results confirm a 15-year-old prediction of relativistic quantum chemistry.