Issue Date: October 8, 2007
I enjoyed reading "Molecules That Could Be" (C&EN, Aug. 13, page 17). I wanted to add that the organic materials research group at Vanderbilt University was also involved in the chemistry of the pentazole anion N5-. Comparing our gas-phase computational results with experimental data obtained in methanol, we estimated the stability of the anion and conjugate acid (N5H) in methanol solutions at 0 oC. The estimated half-lives were 2.2 days and 10 minutes, respectively (J. Org. Chem. 2002, 67, 1354). Such estimates in condensed phase provide much more tangible information about the compound's stability and are a better guide for experimental chemists rather than calculations of isolated molecules in the gas phase.
I thought that this information would provide a more complete picture in your article and be helpful to your readers.
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