Tetrahedrane Molecular Model
Handmade in the U.S.
Painted 1-inch (2.5 cm) hardwood balls and stainless steel rods
Dimensions: Roughly 4 inches (10 cm) in radius
This handmade model is an accurate representation of the molecular structure of tetratertbutyltetrahedrane, an “impossible” molecule with bond angles of 60° instead of 109.5°. A scale of 1 Å = 25 mm (1 inch) is used. (Magnified 250 million times.)
Physical models have been used by chemists for almost two centuries for three-dimensional representation of atomic arrangements in molecules and crystals. Their use has declined in recent decades due to advancements in computer graphics, but their importance remains in providing tactile intuition, historical connection, and inspiration.