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
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 6:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 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
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ Nitric oxide NO is stable radical, but sadly, with 15 electrons. $\endgroup$
    – ssavec
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 9:49

2 Answers 2


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


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.