Volume 84 Issue 22 | pp. 26-27
Issue Date: May 29, 2006

Fixing Phosphorus

Niobium complex allows MIT chemists to build compounds from elemental phosphorus
Department: Science & Technology

Chemists have long been enamored with nitrogen fixation, the process nature employs to help plants capture atmospheric nitrogen and convert it to ammonia for use as a nutrient. Besides the famous Haber-Bosch industrial process to convert N2 to NH3, hundreds of transition-metal complexes involving N2 have been prepared over the years in an effort to mimic nitrogen fixation. The exact enzyme-mediated mechanism that nature uses to fix nitrogen is still a bit of a mystery, . . .

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