Friday, 14 August 2009

New nitrogen molecule produced at NUI Galway

NUI Galway researchers have been confirmed as the first to produce a molecule made of nitrogen. It has caused a lot of fuss over the years. Nasa wanted it. The US Air Force wanted it. Chemists have been trying to isolate it for years. But now an Irish scientist based at NUI Galway has been proven to have delivered it – it being a molecule containing no less than five nitrogen atoms. “It” also comes with a negative charge and a difficult name, pentazole anion (N5-). Pentazole is a nitrogen unit that many believe could form the basis of new, energy-intensive rocket fuels that could revolutionise space travel, hence the huge interest in this molecule. See Marina Murphy's article in full here