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Do Carbyne Radicals Really Exist in Aqueous Solution?


  • We thank C. Tamburu and Prof. Dr. A. Lifshitz for preliminary GC/MS data and Prof. Dr. A. Samuni, Dr. S. Cohen and Dr. O. Moshel for technical support.


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They do exist! Free carbyne radicals can be prepared at room temperature in an aqueous solution by the decomposition of mono- or trinuclear metal (M) complexes containing alkylidyne ligands (see scheme; red C, blue M, green H). The generated radicals then react to form a variety of organic compounds by chain-lengthening reactions in solution. They also exhibit hydrogen, oxygen, or carbon abstraction from solvent, reactant, or product molecules.