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Synthesis

Most Polar Aliphatic Molecule

June 8, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 23

March 16, page 23: The Government & Policy Concentrate “Wind and Solar Grow As U.S. Energy Sources” erred in using mega- watts (MW) when correct usage should have been megawatt-hours (MWh).

Due respect to David O’Hagan’s group for creating a really difficult synthetic target—goodness knows I wouldn’t have that kind of perseverance. However, I have a hard time believing that the all-cis isomer of 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexafluorocyclohexane is really the most polar nonionic molecule (C&EN, March 30, page 5). Donor-acceptor pairs, sometimes called “push-pull”-conjugated organic molecules, like those used in neutral nonlinear optical applications, are designed with specifically high polarity in mind.

I’ve seen them with polarities between 15 and 20 debyes but haven’t seen anything aliphatic with such a high polarity. Maybe we can throw in the “most polar aliphatic molecule” and it will reign for a long time yet.

Joseph Meany
Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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