Cubane: An Elegant Hydrocarbon

Cubane is a beautiful man-made compound. On paper, it is represented by a cube. It has such an austere structure. Neat and angular with straight architectural features.

A model of cubane.
All images for this article come from Wikipedia.
It is formed from carbon and hydrogen - elements that are also present in our human bodies. Its creators call it 'cubane' because it's a cubic alkane.

Each vertex of the above cube holds a carbon atom.
What's interesting about this structure is that it isn't supposed to exist. It is supposed to be extremely unstable, with atoms forced closer that they'd have preferred to be.

These atoms don't want to be so close. They don't want to be near each other. They want to be living in the same HDB flat, but not in the same room. They want to be close enough to have a stable relationship yet far enough to be comfortably companionable. 

They crave company but, at times, are afraid of the very company that they crave.
An interesting ball-and-stick model of cubane. 
To produce this cubic compound is not easy by any means. It requires a series of befuddling steps and results in a very low yield.
Synthesis of Cubane is a complex affair.
The synthesis of cubane is difficult. This process is a scientific marvel and an engineering feat.


Post a Comment