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Keywords:

  • density functional calculations;
  • gas-phase reactions;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • radical ions;
  • reaction mechanisms
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Just one step: Reactivity studies demonstrate that in the gas phase [Al2O3].+ clusters can efficiently conduct the direct conversion of CH4 into CH2O at room temperature (see scheme). The reaction mechanism is highly complex involving oxygen-atom transfer and a double hydrogen-atom transfer.