Aluminum isocyanide (AlNC) was observed in the circumstellar
envelope of IRC+10216 and reported in 2002 by
Ziurys et al.
30 m telescope at
Pico Veleta, Spain.
The detection was made possible by experimental measurements of the spectra of AlNC by
Robinson et al.,,
which in turn was guided by quantum chemical predictions made by
Ma et al.
Both theory and experiment find that AlNC is more stable than AlCN.
Other observed isocyano species include
isocyanoacetylene (HCCNC), and
methyl isocyanide (CH3NC).
Metal cyanide and isocyanide species tend to possess large dipole moments
due to charge transfer. Metals have comparably low ionization energies, while CN has a
large electron affinity. Thus AlNC has a great deal of