Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gas-phase carbonic acid isolated and characterized for first time

Date:
January 11, 2011
Source:
University of Innsbruck
Summary:
Chemists have prepared and isolated gas-phase carbonic acid and have succeeded in characterizing the gas-phase molecules by using infrared spectroscopy.

Innsbruck scientists were first in producing two types of carbonic acid crystals.
Credit: University of Innsbruck

A team of chemists headed by Thomas Loerting from the University of Innsbruck and Hinrich Grothe from the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) have prepared and isolated gas-phase carbonic acid and have succeeded in characterizing the gas-phase molecules by using infrared spectroscopy.

The results were published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

In textbooks and other media the widespread belief still prevails that stable carbonic acid cannot be produced in pure form and is practically non-existent as it immediately decomposes to carbon dioxide and water. However, Innsbruck chemists headed by Erwin Mayer (Institute of General, Inorganic and Theoretical Chemistry) refuted this persistent dogma in chemistry several years ago. They belong to only a handful of scientists who have prepared pure solid carbonic acid experimentally. In an international first, the scientists have now produced gas-phase carbonic acid and, together with a research group headed by Hinrich Grothe at the Vienna University of Technology, they have also succeeded in proofing the existence of these molecules. "Carbonic acid vapor is composed of at least three different species in the gas-phase: a cyclic dimer consisting of two molecules and two different types of monomers," explains Thomas Loerting (Institute of Physical Chemistry) the result of the comprehensive study.

Surprising result

For this experiment the researchers prepared carbonic acid in the laboratory in Innsbruck. It was then stored in liquid nitrogen and transported to Vienna by PhD student Jürgen Bernard. At the Institute of Materials Chemistry at the TU Wien the solid carbonic acid was warmed to minus 30 degrees Celsius. "During this process the carbonic acid molecules entered the gas-phase," says Loerting. This is a surprising result because many experts in the field believed that carbonic acid immediately decomposes to carbon dioxide and water. The Austrian scientists trapped the carbonic acid vapor in a solid matrix of the inert gas argon and cooled it down. "This produced a frozen image of the carbonic acid vapor, which we analyzed by using high-resolution infrared spectroscopy at the TU Wien," says Hinrich Grothe. "The spectrum we produced is extremely precise and we were able to assign the spectral bands to the vibration of each single molecule." For more than a decade, the chemists have been supported in their experimental research by Klaus Liedl from the Institute of Theoretical Chemistry in Innsbruck. His team of scientists has helped to interpret the experimental data with computational models. Additional calculations have been performed by Oscar Galvez from CSIC Madrid (Spanish National Research Council).

Infrared spectra in research

This experiment not only is of high importance for basic research but also for astronomy. The identification of gas-phase carbonic acid in the atmosphere of celestial bodies may be facilitated by the detailed spectra of gas-phase carbonic acid described in this study. "Conditions in space environments suggest that gas-phase carbonic acid may be found in the coma of comets or the poles of Mars," says Thomas Loerting. "However, infrared spectra currently measured in extraterrestrial environments are still too imprecise to be comparable to the results produced in our laboratory."

The team of chemists headed by Loerting and Liedl are members of the research platform Advanced Materials of the University of Innsbruck and are supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the European Research Council (ERC). The chemists in Vienna supervised by H. Grothe participate in the TU Wien Materials Research Cluster and are supported by the Austrian Exchange Service (ÖAD).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Innsbruck. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jürgen Bernard, Markus Seidl, Ingrid Kohl, Klaus R. Liedl, Erwin Mayer, Óscar Gálvez, Hinrich Grothe, Thomas Loerting. Spectroscopic Observation of Matrix-Isolated Carbonic Acid Trapped from the Gas Phase. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2010; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201004729

Cite This Page:

University of Innsbruck. "Gas-phase carbonic acid isolated and characterized for first time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111132523.htm>.
University of Innsbruck. (2011, January 11). Gas-phase carbonic acid isolated and characterized for first time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111132523.htm
University of Innsbruck. "Gas-phase carbonic acid isolated and characterized for first time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111132523.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) — The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Industry's Optimism Shines At New York Auto Show

Industry's Optimism Shines At New York Auto Show

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — After seeing auto sales grow last month, there's plenty for the industry to celebrate as it rolls out its newest designs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ford Mustang Fetes Its 50th Atop Empire State Building

Ford Mustang Fetes Its 50th Atop Empire State Building

AFP (Apr. 16, 2014) — Ford celebrated the 50th birthday of its beloved Mustang by displaying a new model of the convertible on top of the Empire State Building in New York. Duration: 00:28 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins