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Dipl.-Chem. Nils O. B. Lüttschwager, Dr. Tobias N. Wassermann, Prof. Dr. Ricardo A. Mata and Prof. Dr. Martin A. Suhm The Last Globally Stable Extended Alkane Angewandte Chemie International Edition 52

Version of Record online: 21 AUG 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/anie.201202894

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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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