An sp-hybridized molecular carbon allotrope, cyclo[18]carbon

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Science  20 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6459, pp. 1299-1301
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay1914

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  • Technical comment on "sp-hybridized molecular carbon allotrope, cyclo[18]carbon
    • J. F. Ogilvie, scientist and professor, Simon Fraser University Canada and Universidad de Costa Rica

    J. F. Ogilvie, Centre for Experimental and Constructive Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6 Canada and Escuela de Quimica, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, San Jose, Costa Rica

    abstract The attribution of sp-hybridization to cyclo[18]carbon lacks scientific validity.

    As a result of his extensive quantitative research investigations, the late eminent structural chemist Professor Lawrence Bartell declared [1], more than two decades ago, "Hybridization is a fraud!", but this documented fraud [2,3] continues to reap its unwitting victims. As an instance of this fraud, a recent article [4] bears the condemnable title "An sp-hybridized molecular carbon allotrope, cyclo[18]carbon" and reports 'a polyynic structure with defined positions of alternating triple and single bonds". There is no discussion of the basis of that "sp-hybridized" structure other than an allusion to "sp-hybridized carbon allotropes is that they possess two perpendicular π-conjugated electron systems".
    In 1931 Pauling [5] introduced such sp or digonal hybrid atomic orbitals, apparently as a linear combination of 2s and 2p orbitals of a hydrogen atom, although that origin was never explicitly stated. A direct application of such hybrid orbitals to explain molecular structure, rather than to use such functions in a basis set for calculations -- whic...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.