29: Inorganic Chemistry: Frontiers and Future (1994)
Liversidge Research Lecture delivered before the Royal Society of New south Wales, 9th August, 1994. Reproduced by permission of the Royal Society of New South Wales from J. Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., 1995, 128, 131-140.
"Inorganic chemistry - the chemistry of all elements - has turned up some real surprises in the last few years. Even elemental carbon is undergoing a revolution, literally. Molecules which are simply binary combinations of the elements, such as MxSy and MxCy, have been discovered. These are molecular fragments of compounds otherwise known only as non-molecular solids, and are totally unexpected and unpredictable: their structures are being explored by computational methods. The multiple "non-bonded" interactions between inorganic molecules in crystals are being recognised and understood, and can be deployed in crystal engineering. Highly evolved molecular biology reveals tantalising chemical possibilities beyond current laboratory capabilities, such as the mild reduction of the most recalcitrant molecule in chemistry, N2, by the enzyme nitrogenase. Insight into the mechanism of this enzyme comes from investigations of the clusters MxCy."
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