Is there a stable molecule with total number of electrons equal to 13? Molecule can be either organic or inorganic

  • $\begingroup$ Aluminium metal? atomic number 13... $\endgroup$ – user4076 Feb 19 '14 at 6:32
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    $\begingroup$ Apart from $\ce{Al}$ I am not sure whether they exist. You're pretty much always going to need period 2 atoms for this number of electrons and all the molecules I can dream up have an even number of electrons. Maybe someone more experienced in organic synthesis/plenty of knowledge on molecular bonds can explain why (if) this is the case?! $\endgroup$ – Michiel Feb 19 '14 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ Nitric oxide NO is stable radical, but sadly, with 15 electrons. $\endgroup$ – ssavec Feb 19 '14 at 9:49

There are quite some molecules that are persistent (= live long enough in solution to allow for a spectroscopical characterization, but cannot be isolated) or even stable (= can be isolated, bottled and/or used as a starting material) that have an odd number n of electrons, however $n \ne 13$.

stable or persistent radicals

Among these radicals are the Gomberg radical (1), the Koelsch radical (2), and the TEMPO radical (3).


A cyanide radical has 13 electrons. This stable radical was one of the first detected molecules in the interstellar medium, 1941 by A. McKellar, doi:10.1086/125159

Stable: persists in vacuum; no imaginary IR frequencies (negative eigenvalues). Reactive: diddles with something else, including another one of itself. Given the name, do your chair parade. The unpaired spin mostly resides on the nitrogen. Chemistry is passion, not compassion


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