February 2021
Magnesium Monocyanoacetylide

As reported in 2019, magnesium monocyanoacetylide (MgC3N or Mg–C≡C–C≡N) was detected toward IRC +10216 by Cernicharo and co-workers using the IRAM 30m telescope. The detection was based upon experimental and theoretical work by Cabezas et al. also published in 2019. Magnesium monocyanoacetylide has a dipole moment that exceeds 6 D, which enhances its rotational spectrum compared to molecules with smaller dipole moments. While Petrie and co-workers had assigned certain doublet lines in IRC +10216 to MgC3N in 2003, subsequent analysis determined that those lines should be assigned to C6H.

Like MgC3N, most of the magnesium-containing molecules detected to date are linear doublet species, including MgNC, MgCN, MgCCH, and MgC4H (to be featured next month). Magnesium forms linear X–Mg–Y compounds, such as HMgNC (detected in 2013), because its 3s2 pair of electrons is recoupled.

Researcher Links
J Cernicharo
C Cabezas
JR Pardo
M Agúdez
C Bermúdez
L Velilla-Prieto
F Tercero
JA López-Pérez
JD Gallego
JP Fonfría
G Quintana-Lacaci
M Guélin
Y Endo

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