Researchers resolve the age-old mystery of why silicon cannot replace carbon in organic compounds. A new benchmark quantum chemical calculation of C2, Si2, and their hydrides for the first time reveals a qualitative difference in the topologies of core electron orbitals of organic molecules and their silicon analogues. Other elements with a similar propensity as carbon to reshape their core electron nodal structures upon chemical bonding are proposed.
Core electron topologies in chemical bonding
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