Direct detection of a persistent carbonyloxyl radical in the gas phase
Long lived: Carbonyloxyl radicals (RCO2 .) are reactive intermediates that play key roles in initiating polymerization reactions. This reactivity also makes their direct observation difficult. For the first time a persistent organic RCO2 . radical is detected in the gas phase, its extraordinary longevity is attributed to the high barrier towards fragmentation owing to the endothermicity of the decarboxylation products.