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The Last Globally Stable Extended Alkane

Authors

  • Dipl.-Chem. Nils O. B. Lüttschwager,

    1. Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Universität Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 6, 37077 Göttingen (Germany)
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  • Dr. Tobias N. Wassermann,

    1. Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Universität Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 6, 37077 Göttingen (Germany)
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  • Prof. Dr. Ricardo A. Mata,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Universität Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 6, 37077 Göttingen (Germany)
    • Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Universität Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 6, 37077 Göttingen (Germany)

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  • Prof. Dr. Martin A. Suhm

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Universität Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 6, 37077 Göttingen (Germany)
    • Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Universität Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 6, 37077 Göttingen (Germany)

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  • The present work was supported by the DFG (Su 121/2 and RTG 782). M. Albrecht contributed to the early design stage of the heated nozzle. R. Balabin was originally assigned to be part of this project during an undergraduate research project in 2007.

Abstract

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Mother of all folding: Cold isolated linear alkanes CnH2n+2 prefer an extended all-trans conformation before cohesive forces between the chain ends induce a folded hairpin structure for longer chains. It is shown by Raman spectroscopy at 100–150 K that the folded structure becomes more stable beyond nC=17 or 18 carbon atoms. High-level quantum-chemical calculations yield nC=17±1 as the critical chain length.

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