Detection of Tetranitrogen
In December we reported the work of an Italian team who provided the first direct evidence for tetraoxygen by mass spectrometry. Now the same team use neutralization / reionization mass spectrometry to show that nitrogen can also exist as a tetramer.
Tetranitrogen is characterized as a "long-lived" gaseous species by the one-electron reduction of the gaseous N4+ cation by neutralization-reionization (NR)-mass spectrometry. N4 is shown to exist in an isolated gas state for over one microsecond at room temperature. The discovery represents the first addition in nearly half a century to the family of polynitrogen molecules.
The full article appears in the January 18 issue of Science Magazine.