I am trying to understand the stability of charged linear molecules, more specifically these, which contain periodically repeated high electron affinity parts, such as single-bonded oxygen (radicals). The example given in the title is chosen because it is clearly very common in solid state (natural minerals) and hopefully well studied by chemists.

As pointed out in the comments, long chain anions almost never form in vacuum, far away from cations. To be clear, the theoretical situation is similar to a silicate chain in the beginning of the simulation of the process of decaying/discharging/changing shape of the molecule.

What happens to a silicate chain without cations, in vacuum?
I guess, first it repels some of its extra electrons, but I can't imagine the changes in its shape nor the quantity of remaining charge per unit length.

Is it correct that atoms stay in the chain so that it is still $\ce{SiO3}$ (stoichiometrically)?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Separated from cations in vacuum? What makes you think anything like that happens... looks like another XY problem. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Mar 26 at 14:30
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you think anionic species would float in vacuum? $\endgroup$ Mar 26 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron The tag "theoretical-chemistry" tells us, anything like that is actually too improbable to ever happen, that's why I can't just do the experiment and find my answer. However, it is still physically plausible: say, a long sequence of lucky collisions with high energy particles. That is not chemistry, but the resulting ion's stability and structure certainly is. $\endgroup$
    – Paul Kolk
    Mar 27 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ @NilayGhosh To help avoid interactions with irrelevant species. I am talking about theoretical situation. $\endgroup$
    – Paul Kolk
    Mar 27 at 19:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This reminds me of a question one of my professors used to ask in exams: What happens when you shoot sulfate into space? Answer: It looses an electron. $\endgroup$ Apr 3 at 23:07


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