US scientists have invented the world's strongest acid. The carborane acid is effectively a million times as good at donating its proton as sulfuric acid, but because the residual boron-carbon anion itself is so stable it does not then react readily with other materials so is non-corrosive. The previous record holder fluorosulfuric acid was strong but also highly corrosive and eats through glass reaction vessels. The carborane super acid delivers "clean acidity without ferocity", says team leader Christopher Reed of the University of California, Riverside.
Strong but ever so gentle