Progress in the Chemistry of Dihydrogen Trioxide (HOOOH)

Božo Plesničar
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, P.O.Box 537, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia,

During the past 15 years, there has been considerable progress in understanding of the chemistry of dihydrogen trioxide (HOOOH). In this account, the preparation, characterization and structure (1H, 17O NMR, IR, quantum chemical methods), kinetics and mechanism of decomposition, and reactivity of this simplest of polyoxides are discussed. Dihydrogen trioxide is, in organic oxygen bases as solvents, far more stable than previously believed. For example, the half-life of HOOOH in acetone-d6 is 16 ± 2 min; however, it decomposes rather quickly in water solutions (t1/2 » 20 ms) at room temperature. HOOOH is most likely involved in oxidation processes that span atmospheric, environmental, and biological systems.

Key words: ozone, low-temperature ozonation, dihydrogen trioxide HOOOH, density-functional theory, ab-initio, molecular-structure, hydrogen-bonds, HOOO anion, HOOO radical, alkyl hydrotrioxides ROOOH, thermal-decomposition