CTCC paper published in Science

A paper by CTCC researchers Kai K.Lange, Erik I. Tellgren and Trygve Helgaker together with visiting researcher Mark R.Hoffmann entitled "A Paramagnetic Bonding Mechanism for Diatomics in Strong Magnetic Fields" published in Science.


Elementary chemistry distinguishes two kinds of strong bonds between atoms in molecules: the covalent bond, where bonding arises from valence electron pairs shared between neighboring atoms, and the ionic bond, where transfer of electrons from one atom to another leads to Coulombic attraction between the resulting ions. We present a third, distinct bonding mechanism: perpendicular paramagnetic bonding, generated by the stabilization of antibonding orbitals in their perpendicular orientation relative to an external magnetic field. In strong fields such as those present in the atmospheres of white dwarfs (on the order of 105 teslas) and other stellar objects, our calculations suggest that this mechanism underlies the strong bonding of H2 in the 3Sigmau+ triplet state and of He2 in the 1Singletg+ singlet state, as well as their preferred perpendicular orientation in the external field.

The full paper can be read on the web pages of Science, and a commentary on the paper is also provided by the magazine.

Published July 20, 2012 9:28 AM