Life is short for the heaviest elements. They emerge from high-energy nuclear collisions with scant time for detection before they break up into lighter atoms. Even et al. report that even a few seconds is long enough for carbon to bond to the 106th element, seaborgium (see the Perspective by Loveland). The authors used a custom apparatus to direct the freshly made atoms out of the hot collision environment and through a stream of carbon monoxide and helium. They compared the detected products with theoretical modeling results and conclude that hexacarbonyl Sg(CO)6 was the most likely structural formula.
J. Even, A. Yakushev, Ch. E. Düllmann, H. Haba, M. Asai, T. K. Sato, H. Brand, A. Di Nitto, R. Eichler, F. L. Fan, W. Hartmann, M. Huang, E. Jäger, D. Kaji, J. Kanaya, Y. Kaneya, J. Khuyagbaatar, B. Kindler, J. V. Kratz, J. Krier, Y. Kudou, N. Kurz, B. Lommel, S. Miyashita, K. Morimoto, K. Morita, M. Murakami, Y. Nagame, H. Nitsche, K. Ooe, Z. Qin, M. Schädel, J. Steiner, T. Sumita, M. Takeyama, K. Tanaka, A. Toyoshima, K. Tsukada, A. Türler, I. Usoltsev, Y. Wakabayashi, Y. Wang, N. Wiehl, S. Yamaki
Synthesis and detection of a seaborgium carbonyl complex
Science 345, 1491 (2014)
“Science perspective” written by Prof. Walter Loveland:
Science 345, 1451 (2014)