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Advanced x-ray crystallography by Angelo Gavezzotti (auth.), Kari Rissanen (eds.)

By Angelo Gavezzotti (auth.), Kari Rissanen (eds.)

Computational reviews of Crystal constitution and Bonding, via Angelo Gavezzotti Cryo-Crystallography: Diffraction at Low Temperature and extra, through Piero Macchi High-Pressure Crystallography, through Malcolm I. McMahon Chemical X-Ray Photodiffraction: rules, Examples, and views, by means of Panče Naumov Powder Diffraction Crystallography of Molecular Solids, via Kenneth D. M. Harris

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Example text

2 Low Temperature and X-Ray Diffraction from Ideal Crystals . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Cryo-Crystallographic Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Single Crystal Diffraction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Powder Diffraction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Other Techniques . . . . . . .

In a harmonic potential, the force necessary to compress the crystal are equal in modulus to that necessary to expand it. However, the crystal potential is quite poorly harmonic, given that compression of atoms at distances smaller than their equilibrium position is energetically more expensive than expansion. The potential of a chemical bond has harmonic behavior only at the bottom of the energy potential well. Thus, anharmonic behavior is expected for all perfect crystals, but the nature of the species may play an important role.

Are we chemists dwelling on an evanescent definition of the backbone concept of our science? In the current structural literature some atomic pairs in crystals are a priori treated as chemical bonds, apparently without the need of a definition, or of restrictions and conditions. Of particular concern is the tendency to designate as a chemical bond any proximity of atom pairs on subjective choice, under the assumption that the strength of a chemical bond can be a continuum down to almost zero. Along with an oxymoron, one sees a logical flaw and the danger of fostering more confusion than understanding.

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