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Web Date: June 5, 2008

Lithium Monoxide Anion Is As Basic As It Gets

LiO- is newly crowned as the most basic molecule known; it may be impossible to beat
Department: Science & Technology

Researchers have discovered the world's strongest base: the gas-phase lithium monoxide anion, LiO- (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2008, 105, 7647). The compound wins out over the methyl anion, CH3-, the previous longtime titleholder. The researchers who made the discovery think that it will be a difficult challenge to produce a chemical species that is a stronger base than LiO-.

For the past 30 years, methane has been accepted as the weakest acid known. But . . .

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