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A New Rare-Gas Compound : HXeOXeH

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Title: A New Rare-Gas Compound : HXeOXeH
Author(s): Isokoski, Karoliina
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry
Discipline: Physical Chemistry
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2008
Rare-gas chemistry is of growing interest, and the recent advances include the 'insertion' of a Xe atom into OH and water in the rare-gas hydrides HXeO and HXeOH. The insertion of Xe atoms into the H-C bonds of hydrocarbons was also demonstrated for HXeCC, HXeCCH and HXeCCXeH, the last of which was the first rare-gas hydride containing two rare-gas atoms. We describe the preparation and characterization of a new rare-gas compound, HXeOXeH. HXeOXeH was prepared in solid xenon by photolysis of a suitable precursor, for example water, and subsequent mobilization of the photoproducts. The experimental identification was carried out by FTIR spectroscopy, isotopic substitution and by use of various precursors. The photolytical and thermal stability of the new rare-gas hydride was also studied. The experimental work was supported by extensive quantum chemical calculations provided by our co-workers. HXeOXeH forms in a cryogenic xenon matrix from neutral O and H atoms in a two-step diffusion-controlled process involving HXeO as an intermediate [reactions (1) and (2)]. This formation mechanism is unique in that a rare-gas hydride is formed from another rare-gas hydride. H + Xe + O → HXeO (1) HXeO + Xe + H → HXeOXeH (2) Similarly to other rare-gas hydrides, HXeOXeH has a strongly IR-active H-Xe stretching vibration, allowing its spectral detection at 1379.3 cm-1. HXeOXeH is a very high-energy metastable species, yet thermally more stable than many other rare-gas hydrides. The calculated bending barrier of 0.57 eV, is not enough to explain the observed stability, and HXeOXeH might be affected by additional stabilization from the solid xenon environment. Chemical bonding between xenon and environmentally abundant species like water is of particular importance due to the 'missing-xenon' problem. The relatively high thermal stability of HXeOXeH compared to other oxygen containing rare-gas compounds is relevant in this respect. Our work also raises the possibility of polymeric (–Xe–O)n networks, similarly to the computationally studied (XeCC)n polymers.

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