Ethylene Oxide—X-Ray Structure Analysis (at 150 K) and ab initio Calculations


  • This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie.

  • Dedicated to Professor George A. Jeffrey on the occasion of his 70th birthday


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Carrying out an X-ray structure analysis of a substance melting at −112°C is no easy task. However, the effort put into accomplishing such an analysis of ethylene oxide has been worthwhile, since the result is surprising: In the crystalline state the carbon atoms and the oxygen atoms in ethylene oxide 1 form an almost equilateral triangle with C[BOND]C and C[BOND]O bond lengths of ca. 143 pm. This is other than what was found in earlier investigations of ethylene oxide in the liquid and gaseous states.