The low temperature matrix isolation technique for producing and examining reactive or otherwise unstable species has been developed to a high degree of sophistication in the past 20 years. Often, the desired molecular fragment is generated by cocondensing a gaseous mixture, for example, CO in Ar, with a molecule or atom generated at high temperature by evaporation from a hot filament or by effusion from a Knudsen cell, for example, Pd or Pt atoms. Using this method the previously unknown carbonyls of Pd and Pt were generated and identified by matrix isolation infrared spectroscopy.

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