Breaking with until now established rules, Professor K. Seppelt and his coworkers have obtained a crystal structure where carbon atoms have six bonds.

Seppelt, leads a group which has achieved to change some theoretical concepts of bonding theory. Between more important previous achievements, his team has been the first one in combining noble gases with other atoms. Gold was the first element which was able to bond with some of these nobiliary elements.

In 1973, Hogeveen and his team, described the oxidation of hexamethylbencene. Thus, they supposed the formation of a cation [C6(Me)6]2+ which was a very unstable product. Nevertheless, in that occasion they were not able to characterize this structure. Recently, using a different synthetic strategy where a compound called the magic acid (HSO3F/SbF5)聽is used, the Seppelt鈥檚 team has tried again the synthesis of the cation [C6(Me)6]2+. This time, skills of team members mixed with the possibilities offered by new X-Ray diffraction techniques have allowed isolating a crystal structure. One more time a study where there is an expected result found a different one, is this a new example of serendipity? Probably not because in the same paper where this structure is showed there is a computational study predicting that the structure with hexavalent carbon atom is the most stable.


Synthesis carried out by K.Seppelt team.

Undoubtedly, this result is against the solid theory exposed by Kekul茅. Despite applications of this discovery are far away, it is relevant to find the limits of our theoretical background to find answers to future question and also to correct possible mistakes.

Click here to see the scientific article from Angewandte Chemie.