CO2 and H20 combine forces

The formation of the 1:1 complex between water and carbon dioxide could provide climatologists with important insights into the behavior of these atmospheric molecules, according to Patrick Chaquin of the Pierre and Marie Curie University and colleagues. He and his team have isolated the 1:1 complex of water and carbon dioxide in a nitrogen matrix and carried out an IR analysis using isotopic substitution of water. Their results suggest that there are two very weak complexes that can form each with an almost T-shaped structure in which the carbon atom is bonded to the water oxygen. Such chemical interactions could be important clues to understanding the role of these molecules in the so-called greenhouse effect.