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MARGINALIA

Hi O Silver

Roald Hoffmann

A World Record?

Finally, a recent oxidation-state curiosity: What is the highest oxidation state one could get in a neutral molecule? Pekka Pyykkö and coworkers suggest cautiously, but I think believably, that octahedral UO6, that is U(XII), may exist. There is evidence from other molecules that uranium 6p orbitals can get involved in bonding, which is what they would have to do in UO6.

What wonderful chemistry has come—and still promises to come—from the imperfect logic of oxidation states!

© Roald Hoffmann





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