Triple bon­ded boron

Some genu­inely new chem­istry — a triple boron-​boron bond has been pro­duced. The com­pound is stable up to 234C if kept away from air. It’s sta­bil­ised by using het­ero­cyc­lic molecules that are strong Lewis bases to donate an elec­tron pair to each boron atom, giv­ing each boron a full valence shell. It is thought that the new com­pound may have uses in organic elec­tronic mater­i­als. Read more here.

Flu­or­ine found as an element

Flu­or­ine is the most elec­troneg­at­ive ele­ment and so super-​reactive. So we’d only expect to find it as a com­pound. Now some ele­mental flu­or­ine has been detec­ted in the fluor­spar min­eral ant­o­zon­ite using 19F NMR spec­tro­scopy. The fuor­ine is pro­duced in ele­mental form due to the effect of ion­ising radi­ation from very small quant­it­ies of uranium in the min­eral. Read more here.

Bucky­balls to the rescue

We’d all like our mobiles, tab­lets, etc. to be able to run more applic­a­tions and con­sume less power. But there are lim­ited by their RAM. An ingeni­ous solu­tion uses C60 to cre­ate a small, high speed tran­sistor. Read more here.

Self-​cleaning materials?

Sounds ideal, some­thing that cleans itself! These research­ers have incor­por­ated titanium diox­ide in the plastic arm­rests of garden chairs. When exposed to UV light, they pro­mote the pro­duc­tion of free rad­ic­als, which kill off fungi, bac­teria, etc. Only trouble is, you do need some sun­shine…Read more here.

Strange molecules in space

If you get up close to a white dwarf star, weird things happen to molecules. That’s because a white dwarf has a huge magnetic field, which distorts the shape of the electron clouds. It can apparently result in molecules being a lot smaller, and even promote the formation of molecules that don’t otherwise exist, such as diatomic helium. Read more here.