Radical view

A rare mixed valence disilicon hydride has been generated by Alexander Filippou and colleagues at the University of Bonn, Germany. These types of species are known to exist fleetingly during chemical vapor deposition (CVD) processes, such as those used to make semiconductors for photovoltaic devices, for instance. Their transient existence makes them difficult to study despite their importance in the final quality of a given product. Intriguingly, one atom exists in the 1 valency state while the other is in the 0 state, Filippou's team found, having trapped the radical between two N-heterocyclic carbenes.