Carbon-containing ions, including carbon, carbon-14, and carbon-12, are abundant in water and in organic matter.
The presence of these ions can help scientists determine the structure of molecules.
But the precise nature of the ions and their location are not known.
The goal of the study is to understand the nature of carbon-carbon bonds.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Yuichi Sugiyama, from the University of Tokyo, in collaboration with Dr. Yasushi Kajita, from Kyoto University, and Professor Toshihide Okano, from Kyushu University, have published their findings in the journal Nature.
The study, which is titled “A detailed model of the electron and electron-positron interactions of carbon atoms,” was conducted by researchers from the Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.
They focused on a single molecule, the carbon-13 (C13) molecule, and its interaction with hydrogen.
The scientists used a combination of computer modeling and the ability to detect electron and positron positions to accurately estimate the location of C13 in the hydrogen molecule.
The researchers used the ion-positing technique to investigate the structure and structure dynamics of C 13 in a single water molecule.
“The carbon- 13 molecule has a carbon atom in its core.
This allows it to carry a certain number of electron-positionally neutral electrons, but its electrons cannot be detected at any given position,” said Sugiyoshi Kajima, the lead author of the paper.
“We used this to determine the number of carbon bonds between the carbon atoms and the hydrogen.
We then applied the electron-based measurement method to determine where the electrons are in the molecule.”
“We also determined that C13 is a carbon-18 ion.
We found that it is located in the vicinity of hydrogen and has a large number of electrons,” said Yoshihiro Okano.
“It is important to understand how this ion interacts with the hydrogen, and how its position in the nucleus affects the bonding between C13 and hydrogen.”
The researchers then used an electron-tensor mass spectrometer to investigate how the C13 molecule’s position changes when it interacts with hydrogen ions.
The electron-field properties of the hydrogen ion are then used to determine how the hydrogen interacts with C13.
The result is a simple model of C14.
“When C13 interacts with an hydrogen ion, it changes its electron-point distribution to the right direction,” said Kajito.
“This changes the energy of the electrons, and they become attracted to the hydrogen atoms.
This interaction then causes C13 to bond with the other hydrogen atoms in the structure, and this results in the formation of a bond between the two carbon atoms.
The resulting bond is an ionic bond.”
The scientists further developed the model using electron-mechanical simulations to determine C13’s specific charge, which determines its ability to interact with hydrogen and C14 ions.
In their model, the scientists found that the specific charge of C6, the most abundant carbon-hydrogen ion in the water molecule, varies by about one electron, and that the number and location of the carbon bonds in the C6 molecule also changes as a function of the specific affinity of C-18.
“Our model shows that the energy and number of the C-13 bonds and the position of the ion in a water molecule depend on the specific carbon-based affinity of the molecules,” said the researchers.
“In particular, the number is determined by the specific C-19 affinity of a carbon carbon chain.
By analyzing the electron properties of carbon in the carbon chains, we were able to determine which bonds are active and which bonds can be suppressed.
We further found that this C- 19 bond is highly effective at suppressing a large portion of C4 bonds in water, and so we believe this mechanism can be used to predict the presence of an additional hydrogen ion in water.”
The model also allows for the identification of other hydrogen ions in the same water molecule and the location where they are located.
“With the current data we have obtained, we can also predict the location and location range of other carbon-centric hydrogen ions,” said Professor Toshiyoshi Okano of the University at Buffalo, New York.
“Because the C14 bond is strong, the researchers are also able to predict which of these other C14-hydroxyl groups are present.
This means that our model can also be used for prediction of the existence of other C-14-related bonds in other water molecules.”
The study has implications for water treatment, as well as for the study of the chemical bonds between carbon atoms in a large range of organic molecules.
“Understanding how these interactions are created and how they affect their bonding is an important first step in understanding the formation and evolution of complex biomolecules,” said Dr. Yukiko Ohmori, a co-author of the Nature paper.