Beryllium in its element

A new molecule containing the toxic metal beryllium in the elemental, or zero-oxidation state has been synthesized by researchers in Germany. The new compound is unlikely to have any immediate applications, but demonstrates once again what a little chemical ingenuity can do in terms of accessing structures and bonds once thought impossible and could point the way to other substances with similarly bizarre valency on their metal atoms. Holger Braunschweig and colleagues at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg made the beryllium complexes and say they are the first stable and neutral compounds containing a zero-valent s-block metal.