I have had this on my mind for quite some time already and I thought that the time before the year passes might be good to introduce this idea.

Let's get some Bounties rolling...

Bounties are a good way to draw attention to questions. There are various reasons, why one would want to award bounties. I like it when there are a few questions in the featured tab of the main site. It sure feels great getting one, but it also is awesome to see that the offered bounty pays out in a very good answer.
Now sometimes you come across a good question that did not get the necessary attention to draw some good answers. You might be interested in the answer, but not as interested as giving away your hard earned reputation.
I have passed the magic 10k threshold some time ago and as a moderator I do not need any more reputation points any way. So I decided to bounty off some. The general aim is to gain some top quality answers and to give back a token of gratitude.
(Also it might push some people higher on the privileges chain, so that they can more effectively help me moderate the page \(^O^)/)

What are the rules for this?

It's quite simple. There are only a few rules.


  • A question that should be awarded a bounty to draw attention should be at least about a month old. (Preferably the asker is still active.)
  • Should have a score of five or more, but not more than 15.
  • Should not have an accepted answer. (In cases that the answer is outdated this point can be voided.)
  • The last bounty on this question may not be younger than half a year.
  • No questions.


  • An answer that is excellent (score > 15), but not the accepted answer, can get an additional bounty to mark it as great.
  • The question must be of our minimal quality standards, proper formatting, etc.
  • The answer should not yet have a bounty awarded.
  • The answerer must not be a 10k reputation user or yourself.

Conditions are subject to change.

How to enter?

Post an answer here with the current title and link to the question and answer. Make sure the post follows the above guidelines. Please also state why the linked post should be bountied. Wait.
You can enter as many questions as you find interesting. Obviously this is an experiment and we will have to evaluate the experience eventually, but I think this is not coming too soon.
I will probably go though the list Fridays before leaving into the weekend and feature the question I liked most. It's also most likely that I will award a bounty around that time.
Have fun and please don't be shy.

Can I become a sponsor?

First of all: Thank you for considering that option. Obviously it would be very selfish of me to be the only one handing out the bounties, so of course this is allowed.
If you think that you have gained sufficient reputation and want to get rid of some yourself, find a post from the list that you like and feature it. When you do, add an editorial note above the body stating when you applied (or later awarded) the bounty. That's it, nothing more. Have fun with it.

If you have any questions, please use the comment section to ask them. Posts that are no entries might get deleted as NAA.

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ This was $\ldots$ unexpected. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Dec 8 '15 at 18:17
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    $\begingroup$ I like this. Is there a way that I can use the search to identify questions asked within a certain range of dates? $\endgroup$ – Ben Norris Dec 9 '15 at 0:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Ben yes, IIRC it must be in the search tips. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Dec 9 '15 at 20:40
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    $\begingroup$ One search that may be useful is "score:4 last active:1y.. hasaccepted:no" $\endgroup$ – Geoff Hutchison Dec 14 '15 at 19:24
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    $\begingroup$ Why no homework questions as a rule? A good quality homework question should be allowed to jostle for position alongside all other categories. $\endgroup$ – long Mar 10 '16 at 2:45
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    $\begingroup$ @long I included that, because at the time of the write up, I was already thinking about rewriting the homework policy from scratch and I did not want to include anything related to that. I agree that there are good homework questions, that certainly would be a good candidate for a bounty and a general answer. However, in these cases it usually does not take much effort to rewrite it in a more general sense, so that it can have a wider audience and maybe serve as an example for future homework questions. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Mar 10 '16 at 4:27
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    $\begingroup$ That is why I love Chem SE. $\endgroup$ – user16347 Jan 27 '17 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ And what about duplicate questions which qualifi all rules? For example this $\endgroup$ – Fawad Mar 4 '17 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for handing out bounties to questions, this would make the site better. I think this post itself could fund alot of bounties from the rep it gets. Here, have 5 points! :) $\endgroup$ – Pritt Balagopal May 22 '17 at 9:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Pritt there is no reputation gained or lost from meta ;) $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン May 22 '17 at 9:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin What?!? I lost about 30 rep on "disagreement downvotes" on the real meta.stackexchange. $\endgroup$ – Pritt Balagopal May 22 '17 at 11:43
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    $\begingroup$ @pritt Mother-meta, as I tend to call it, is another story. On the per-site metas there is no rep loss or gain. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン May 22 '17 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin That's great! I'm quite afraid to post on meta nowadays. I guess the per site meta is morr friendlier. $\endgroup$ – Pritt Balagopal May 22 '17 at 12:49

17 Answers 17


Priorly Bountied Questions:

(note numerical order of question numbers)

Currently Nominated Questions:

  • $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン Make sure to remove the question from the Currently Nominated Questions too I modified it for clarity. $\endgroup$ – A.K. Mar 26 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ oh well... I did not see that... that would have made things easier ;) $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Mar 26 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン Might it make sense to delete some of the answers to uncrowd this post? or start over? $\endgroup$ – A.K. Mar 30 at 2:31

Editorial Notice: the bounty has been applied 2015-12-12.

If I am allowed to nominate another question:

Do vinyl cations adopt a classical or non-classical structure?


  • Good question
  • Poster is a frequent and active user who is 65% of the way to accessing the moderator tools (I can shamelessly appeal to Martin's shameless ulterior motive).
  • Comments refer to a source with the answer and provide a brief summary of the answer.
  • I want a definitive answer to this question - vinyl cations are described in the reactions of alkynes in undergraduate texts and I want to have something better so say about the mechanism of alkyne addition reactions. Since this is a topic that impacts introductory organic chemistry, a lot of other folks might benefit from the answer.
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    $\begingroup$ You are allowed to enter as many questions as you like, I am not intending to make this a one time thing. As for the question itself, it is a good one and I remember doing some research on it that I was not able to go through with, so I am very intrigued any way :D $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Dec 9 '15 at 2:42
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    $\begingroup$ Since you chose my other nomination was chosen, I am giving this post a bounty. $\endgroup$ – Ben Norris Dec 12 '15 at 14:16
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    $\begingroup$ I did not do this one because Jan wanted to join the dance... if you choose to give the bounty, mark it as I did, I am going to add about sponsoring on Monday $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Dec 12 '15 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ Haha, there goes my altruist badge xD Bu~t I’ll find another post I with to bounty one day ^^ $\endgroup$ – Jan Dec 12 '15 at 19:22

Editorial note: Bounty added 2017-05-07.

A question I would like for a bounty is:

d-orbital splittings in WS2 monolayer

  • Almost a month old question
  • very, very interesting question
  • 5 upvotes, no downvotes
  • 3 favourites
  • no answer
  • waiting patiently/dying hard for an answer.
  • question has not received enough attention.

Editorial notice: Bounty applied 2015-12-21 and awarded 2015-12-29

How is the pKa of extremely weak acids determined?

Good candidate for bountying because

  • it's a good question.
  • it's somehow fundamental.
  • there seems to be a definitive answer, glancing at Ron's comments.
  • it's unanswered.
  • it's from Dissenter – our Socratic, who's likely to return.
  • as of now, it has 7 votes and has had no bounties. Seriously, how many of you knew timelines existed?

Editorial Notice: the bounty has been applied 2015-12-14.

I'd like to suggest Why is Gold So Popular in Nanotechnology

  • Only one answer (which doesn't mention thiols)
  • No discussion of the properties of gold on the nanoscale
  • Asker is a fairly frequent participant

Editorial Notice: the bounty has been applied 2015-12-11 and awarded 2015-12-18.

My nomination: Symmetrize nearly symmetric molecule


  • This is a strong well-researched question.
  • The comments to the question seem to suggest that a solution is out there, and the OP was getting close to it.
  • The OP is still around (checked in 11 hours ago).
  • There are no answers and no active bounties.
  • There are 7 votes
  • This question is favorited by two people, so others are interested in the answer.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ We could easily nominate many of Dissenter's questions: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/40138/… $\endgroup$ – Ben Norris Dec 9 '15 at 0:19
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    $\begingroup$ ^^ Yes, we could. He asked really good questions in the past and played a substantial part in evolving the community. You can enter this as a new entry, so that it does not get lost in the process. (However, this one had a bounty in November O.o) $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Dec 9 '15 at 2:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン Are you sure "he" is the right pronoun? We don't know who Dissenter is.. :-) $\endgroup$ – Geoff Hutchison Dec 9 '15 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ @BenNorris Thanks for the reminder - I favorited this question to come back and answer. I guess if you want to give me a bounty, I won't complain! $\endgroup$ – Geoff Hutchison Dec 9 '15 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ I will state, for the record, that as a 10+k user, I'm going to turn any bounties around to other questions. :-) $\endgroup$ – Geoff Hutchison Dec 14 '15 at 19:06

Editorial Notice: The bounty has been applied 2015-12-31.

I’m going to suggest Alkylation of conjugated nitriles - regioselectivity.

  • An interesting question, probably orbitals but I don’t know the answer.

  • Posted in May.

  • No answers, no edit history (thus no bounty so far).

  • Score of 11 at the time of posting.

  • OP still around as far as I know.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Mart, I totally forgot about this ^^' $\endgroup$ – Jan Dec 30 '15 at 17:14

Editorial notice: the bounty has been applied 2016-09-23.

This question is not yet old enough to be eligible by my own rules, but I would like to revive this thread so I am nominating it anyway:

Why is an S-S bond stronger than an O-O bond?

I think this question is very intriguing and one might come by quite tempting easy explanations. In order to further understanding of chemical bonding a canonical answer would be really helpful. I am almost certain, that there are already reports about such investigations out there. However, I do not have the time to find it myself.

As for the user argument; Ina is very active on the site and has proven a good sport and he also asks quite interesting questions. While an answer is rewarding for everyone, I think he has supplied us with a solid foundation and hence really deserves some attention.
If you comment, I'll take it back.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Oh wait, what's this? Someone saw my question worthy! \o/ $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Mar 23 '16 at 10:53
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    $\begingroup$ @IͶΔ (read the small print) $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Mar 23 '16 at 11:02
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not "you", so it doesn't count $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Mar 23 '16 at 11:17
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    $\begingroup$ I know this has a great answer on it, but I’ll take that as an opportunity to give said answer it’s due reward. And I need to get rid of some rep ;p $\endgroup$ – Jan Sep 23 '16 at 17:46

Editorial notice: Bounty applied on 2017/04/12, awarded 2017/04/17.

And here I am, suggesting another one:

How were old style stereographic structures produced?

  • score of 18 as of now, no downvotes
  • rather interesting from the historical point of view, and still relatively relevant to chemistry
  • no one answer
  • asked June 2015.
  • OP was last seen 27th April, although the last post seems a bit older
  • no bounties.
  • $\begingroup$ I added the bounty to reward the now existing answer. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Apr 12 '17 at 5:54

Editorial notice: Bounty applied on 2016-06-05. It could not be awarded due to lack of answers.

Thread reviving, part two!

Is hybridization used in ab initio valence bond calculation?

  • A two year old question
  • asker is possibly not active any more, but has registered
  • I think (but to be honest I am far away from the topic, so I require the compchem experts’ expertise) that it is an interesting question.
  • +13 score as of now. (+19 after the bounty dance)
  • no answer yet. (save one deleted NAA and another deleted one after the dance.)
  • $\begingroup$ This entry is a sad, sad story. So many bounties, no answer... $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Apr 12 '17 at 5:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン Jan, Update: this question does now have an answer. Thoughts? $\endgroup$ – A.K. Nov 15 '18 at 4:38
  • $\begingroup$ @A.K. Unfortunately I think the current answer completely misses the point. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Nov 15 '18 at 12:41

Editorial notice: Bounty applied 2016-09-29.

I'd like to "revive" this thread with this question: Why can't Pd/C and H2 reduce both the alkene and carbonyl portions of α,β-unsaturated carbonyls?

It seems to have been mentioned in the comments of one earlier answer, but really deserves an answer of its own.


  • Good conceptual question about hydrogenation procedures in organic synthesis, a very common reaction
  • Question score of +14/0
  • OP is Dissenter - enough said!
  • Last bounty applied is almost a year old.

I recognise that hydrogenation mechanisms are not actually particularly well-elucidated, but still think that this is worth another shot. Surely there is something in the literature about them.


I'd like to enter one myself:
Chemistry of Walter Mitty's negative developer/stop bath/fixer?

I think it is a very interesting topic, that currently only has a link-only answer. From a general point of view the process is interesting for a wide audience.

  • $\begingroup$ FWIW: I added an answer thoughts? $\endgroup$ – A.K. Mar 26 at 20:50

I'd like to nominate the recently active
What chemical properties make LSD so psychoactive?

I am currently unable to give out a bounty, since I'm busy on a business trip. I find the question quite compelling. The current answers, however, offer little to no insight into which properties of the compound are actually responsible for the effect. For a better understanding of this I think an answer must go deeper than only the chemical structure of a few functional groups and investigate the mechanism of binding to the receptors.


Editorial note: Bounty applied 7 Sept 2018. No Bounty Awarded.

I would like to nominate the followng and maybe revive this thread:

Reaction of glucose with hydroiodic acid

I believe it is either of good teaching value or should have included phosphorous in the equation.


Editorial Note: This question now has an accepted answer as of May 13 '17

I'd like to add the following:

Functional difference of Benedict's solution and Fehling's solution

It has several upvotes and stars but has been left unanswered for six months. According to data explorer, it is one of the highest weighted unanswered questions on Chemistry.SE.


Editorial Note: answered 2019-01-27, bounty (retroactively) awarded 2019-03-26

I think a small bounty on the following question would be good. Until recently it was closed as homework, but I think it has a larger applicability to some chemical concepts. It could use a general answer: Quadrupole moment of a molecule.


Another nomination:

Melting and boiling point trend in Group II

This question has good stats and probes at an interesting anomaly.

Score: 13 $\quad$ Views:7600+ $\quad$ stars: 2


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