Rzepa has published a theoretical study of potential stable molecules containing a bond to helium.1 The work was inspired by the post on this blog pertaining to potential hypervalent carbon species that mimic the SN2 transition state. Rzepa first reported some of his results on his own blog (see this post and previous ones). The upshot is that structures like 1 appear to possess real bonds to helium!


As always, Henry has deposited his structures (see here) and so I have not reproduced any structures.

As an aside I am greatly inspired by this paper as offering an example of how non-traditional media – our two blogs – led to new science, and one that was published by a very forward-thinking publisher (Nature), who recognizes the value of new technologies that facilitate (and not degrade nor supplant) the traditional scientific communication media.


1) Rzepa, H. S., “The rational design of helium bonds,” Nature Chem., 2010, 2, 390-393, DOI:10.1038/nchem.596.