A team in the lab of Puru Jena, Ph.D., a distinguished professor in the Department of Physics in the College of Humanities and Sciences, has created the most stable tri-anion particle currently known to science.
A tri-anion particle is a combination of atoms that contains three more electrons than protons.
Jena partnered with Tianshan Zhao, a graduate student in the physics department; Jian Zhou, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow; and Qian Wang, Ph.D., a physics professor at Peking University, to use quantum mechanical calculations to create computer models to prove the stability of the BeB11(CN)12 tri-anion.
“Not only can it keep three electrons but the third electron is extremely stable. The guiding principles we have used in this paper will help with the design of other tri-anions. The question is: What do we do with this knowledge?”.
The tri-anion may have a number of industrial applications.
Jena and his team have hypothesized that the particle may be used in the creation of an aluminum ion battery, which has distinct advantages over the widely used rechargeable lithium ion battery.
During the chemical reaction that would power the battery, the tri-anion would make the battery conductive by moving from one of its electrodes to the other.