Bondybey, Vladimir E. Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey.
Miller, Terry A. AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey.
Last reviewed:August 2020
- Square planar molecule example
- Vibrational structure
- Static and dynamic effects
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A distortion of a highly symmetrical molecule, which reduces its symmetry and lowers its energy. The effect occurs for all nonlinear molecules in degenerate electronic states, the degeneracy of the state being removed by the effect. It was first predicted in 1937 by H. A. Jahn and E. Teller. In early experimental work, the effect often “disappeared” or was masked by other molecular interactions. This has surrounded the Jahn-Teller effect with a certain mystery and allure, rarely found in science today. However, there are now a number of clear-cut experimental examples which correlate well with theoretical predictions. These examples range from the excited states of the most simple polyatomic molecule, H3, through moderate-sized organic molecules, like the ions of substituted benzene, to complex solid state phenomena involving crystals or localized impurity centers. See also: Degeneracy (quantum mechanics); Molecular structure and spectra; Quantum mechanics
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