Monday, December 6, 2010

English: graphene; German: Graphen or Graphén

Graphene is a single carbon layer within the structure of the carbon allotrope graphite or—in separated form— a planar, one-atom-thick honeycomb lattice of carbon atoms. The term graphene describes such a carbon layer in analogy to a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) of quasi infinite size [1]. Note that names for planar PAH molecules such as anthracene, pyrene and ovalene end with the suffix -ene. To reflect the structural analogy in the name for the “unlimited PAH”, the word graphene is derived by stemming the word graphite and appending the suffix -ene.

The German name is Graphen. Since this word also happens to be the plural form of the noun Graph (although pronounced differently), meaning graph as in molecular graph, the spelling Graphén is alternately used. Another possible, sound-conserving spelling would be Grapheen. Either way, the suffix identity with German names for PAHs is compromised: anthracene, for example, is Anthracen (or Anthrazen, when I went to school), but not Anthracén or Anthraceen.

Instead of playing with its name, chemists and material scientists like to play with its structure. Already in the 1960s graphene derivatives were produced by reduction of graphite oxide [2]. Stoichiometric graphene derivatives such as fluorographene have been obtained and characterized recently [3].

Continuing the name game: CurlySMILES encoding of graphene and stoichiometric derivatives.

Keywords: carbon chemistry, structural similarity, chemical nomenclature, structural encoding, linear notations, translation

References and further reading
[1] IUPAC Gold Book: graphene layer.
[2] H.-P. Boehm: Graphen - wie eine Laborkuriosität
äußerst interessant wurde. Angewandte Chemie 2010, 122 (49), pp. 9520-9523. DOI: 10.1002/ange.201004096.
[3] R. R. Nair et al.: Fluorographene: A Two-Dimensional Counterpart of Teflon. Small 2010. DOI: 10.1002/smll.201001555

No comments:

Post a Comment