The Electronic States of the Helium Molecule


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The repulsive region in the potential energy landscape around the anionic helium species is a direct measure for the repulsive void formed inside helium droplets. The volumes of these repulsive voids are Therefore, we ask the question how are these anions ejected from the helium droplets? The shift of the two curves is related to the probability of hitting one helium droplet with more than one electron.


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The best fits can be achieved with quadratic function for the atomic helium anion and a linear function for the molecular helium anion. This expulsion mechanism will also apply for other anions embedded in the helium droplets. This study provides the first clear evidence for the helium anion formation in helium droplets. In the apparatus, 37 neutral pure He droplets, which were shown to be very cold 0.

After passing through the There the ions undergo pulsed acceleration and are detected after a distance of about 1 m, which corresponds to flight times of about 3. As a reference state, we used the singlet ground state wave function of the molecular helium. As target states, the lowest lying triplet configurations were investigated. All calculations were carried out with the Gaussian 09 suite of programs. We thank Hartmut Hotop for enlightening discussions, a critical reading, and several excellent suggestions, Peter McClintock and Humphrey Maris for their insightful comments, and Klaus Bartschat for preprints and correspondence.

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Electron Configurations & The Periodic Table

Recent Activity. The snippet could not be located in the article text. This may be because the snippet appears in a figure legend, contains special characters or spans different sections of the article. J Phys Chem Lett. Published online Jun PMID: Stefan E. Peter Toennies. E-mail: ta. E-mail: ed. Received May 9; Accepted Jun This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Open in a separate window. Figure 1. The position depends somewhat on the droplet size. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Experimental Methods In the apparatus, 37 neutral pure He droplets, which were shown to be very cold 0. Acknowledgments We thank Hartmut Hotop for enlightening discussions, a critical reading, and several excellent suggestions, Peter McClintock and Humphrey Maris for their insightful comments, and Klaus Bartschat for preprints and correspondence. Notes The authors declare no competing financial interest.

References Yang S. Helium Droplets: a Chemistry Perspective. Callicoatt B. Ellis A. A , 76 , —8. Kupfer C. Theory of Negative Ions in Liquid Helium. Poitrenaud J. Denifl S. Fast Ions in Liquid Helium. A , 30 , — Ihas G. Exotic Negative Carriers in Liquid Helium. Sanders T. Negative Ions in Liquid Helium. Low Temp.

Schmidt H. The Lifetime of the Helium Anion. Andersen T. B: At. Brage T.

The Helium Dimer

Autodetachment of Negative Ions. A , 44 , 72— A , 44 , — A , 60 , — Michels H. Reinheld P. Electron Capture by Large Helium Droplets. Zappa F. Ultracold Water Cluster Anions. D; Scheier P. Chen M. Huber S. Ancilotto F. Physics of Solvation. In the other examples carbon, oxygen and fluorine achieve neon-like valence octets by a similar sharing of electron pairs. Carbon dioxide is notable because it is a case in which two pairs of electrons four in all are shared by the same two atoms.

This is an example of a double covalent bond. Non-bonding valence electrons are shown as dots. These formulas are derived from the graphic notations suggested by A. Couper and A. Some examples of such structural formulas are given in the following table. Multiple bonding , the sharing of two or more electron pairs, is illustrated by ethylene and formaldehyde each has a double bond , and acetylene and hydrogen cyanide each with a triple bond. Boron compounds such as BH 3 and BF 3 are exceptional in that conventional covalent bonding does not expand the valence shell occupancy of boron to an octet.


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Consequently, these compounds have an affinity for electrons, and they exhibit exceptional reactivity when compared with the compounds shown above. The number of valence shell electrons an atom must gain or lose to achieve a valence octet is called valence. In covalent compounds the number of bonds which are characteristically formed by a given atom is equal to that atom's valence.

From the formulas written above, we arrive at the following general valence assignments:. The valences noted here represent the most common form these elements assume in organic compounds. Many elements, such as chlorine, bromine and iodine, are known to exist in several valence states in different inorganic compounds. Charge Distribution. If the electron pairs in covalent bonds were donated and shared absolutely evenly there would be no fixed local charges within a molecule.

A dipole exists when the centers of positive and negative charge distribution do not coincide. A large local charge separation usually results when a shared electron pair is donated unilaterally. In the formula for ozone the central oxygen atom has three bonds and a full positive charge while the right hand oxygen has a single bond and is negatively charged. The overall charge of the ozone molecule is therefore zero.

The Electronic States of the Helium Molecule.

Similarly, nitromethane has a positive-charged nitrogen and a negative-charged oxygen, the total molecular charge again being zero. Finally, azide anion has two negative-charged nitrogens and one positive-charged nitrogen, the total charge being minus one. In general, for covalently bonded atoms having valence shell electron octets , if the number of covalent bonds to an atom is greater than its normal valence it will carry a positive charge. If the number of covalent bonds to an atom is less than its normal valence it will carry a negative charge.

The formal charge on an atom may also be calculated by the following formula:. The ability of an element to attract or hold onto electrons is called electronegativity. A rough quantitative scale of electronegativity values was established by Linus Pauling , and some of these are given in the table to the right.

A larger number on this scale signifies a greater affinity for electrons. Fluorine has the greatest electronegativity of all the elements, and the heavier alkali metals such as potassium, rubidium and cesium have the lowest electronegativities. It should be noted that carbon is about in the middle of the electronegativity range, and is slightly more electronegative than hydrogen. When two different atoms are bonded covalently, the shared electrons are attracted to the more electronegative atom of the bond, resulting in a shift of electron density toward the more electronegative atom.

Such a covalent bond is polar , and will have a dipole one end is positive and the other end negative. The degree of polarity and the magnitude of the bond dipole will be proportional to the difference in electronegativity of the bonded atoms. Thus a O—H bond is more polar than a C—H bond, with the hydrogen atom of the former being more positive than the hydrogen bonded to carbon. Likewise, C—Cl and C—Li bonds are both polar, but the carbon end is positive in the former and negative in the latter.

Although there is a small electronegativity difference between carbon and hydrogen, the C—H bond is regarded as weakly polar at best, and hydrocarbons in general are considered to be non-polar compounds. The shift of electron density in a covalent bond toward the more electronegative atom or group can be observed in several ways. For bonds to hydrogen, acidity is one criterion. If the bonding electron pair moves away from the hydrogen nucleus the proton will be more easily transfered to a base it will be more acidic. A comparison of the acidities of methane, water and hydrofluoric acid is instructive.

Methane is essentially non-acidic, since the C—H bond is nearly non-polar. As noted above, the O—H bond of water is polar, and it is at least 25 powers of ten more acidic than methane. H—F is over 12 powers of ten more acidic than water as a consequence of the greater electronegativity difference in its atoms. Electronegativity differences may be transmitted through connecting covalent bonds by an inductive effect.

Replacing one of the hydrogens of water by a more electronegative atom increases the acidity of the remaining O—H bond. Thus hydrogen peroxide, HO—O— H , is ten thousand times more acidic than water, and hypochlorous acid, Cl—O— H is one hundred million times more acidic. This inductive transfer of polarity tapers off as the number of transmitting bonds increases, and the presence of more than one highly electronegative atom has a cumulative effect.


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  5. Return to Table of Contents. Functional Groups.

    Choreography of an electron pair

    Functional groups are atoms or small groups of atoms two to four that exhibit a characteristic reactivity when treated with certain reagents. A particular functional group will almost always display its characteristic chemical behavior when it is present in a compound. Because of their importance in understanding organic chemistry, functional groups have characteristic names that often carry over in the naming of individual compounds incorporating specific groups.

    In the following table the atoms of each functional group are colored red and the characteristic IUPAC nomenclature suffix that denotes some but not all functional groups is also colored. This page is the property of William Reusch.

    The Electronic States of the Helium Molecule The Electronic States of the Helium Molecule
    The Electronic States of the Helium Molecule The Electronic States of the Helium Molecule
    The Electronic States of the Helium Molecule The Electronic States of the Helium Molecule
    The Electronic States of the Helium Molecule The Electronic States of the Helium Molecule
    The Electronic States of the Helium Molecule The Electronic States of the Helium Molecule

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