skip to main content

Title: Spherical trihedral metallo-borospherenes

The discovery of borospherenes unveiled the capacity of boron to form fullerene-like cage structures. While fullerenes are known to entrap metal atoms to form endohedral metallofullerenes, few metal atoms have been observed to be part of the fullerene cages. Here we report the observation of a class of remarkable metallo-borospherenes, where metal atoms are integral parts of the cage surface. We have produced La3B18and Tb3B18and probed their structures and bonding using photoelectron spectroscopy and theoretical calculations. Global minimum searches revealed that the most stable structures of Ln3B18are hollow cages withD3hsymmetry. The B18-framework in the Ln3B18cages can be viewed as consisting of two triangular B6motifs connected by three B2units, forming three shared B10rings which are coordinated to the three Ln atoms on the cage surface. These metallo-borospherenes represent a new class of unusual geometry that has not been observed in chemistry heretofore.

; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Because of their interesting structures and bonding and potentials as motifs for new nanomaterials, size-selected boron clusters have received tremendous interest in recent years. In particular, boron cluster anions (B n − ) have allowed systematic joint photoelectron spectroscopy and theoretical studies, revealing predominantly two-dimensional structures. The discovery of the planar B 36 cluster with a central hexagonal vacancy provided the first experimental evidence of the viability of 2D borons, giving rise to the concept of borophene. The finding of the B 40 cage cluster unveiled the existence of fullerene-like boron clusters (borospherenes). Metal-doping can significantly extend the structural and bonding repertoire of boron clusters. Main-group metals interact with boron through s/p orbitals, resulting in either half-sandwich-type structures or substitutional structures. Transition metals are more versatile in bonding with boron, forming a variety of structures including half-sandwich structures, metal-centered boron rings, and metal-centered boron drums. Transition metal atoms have also been found to be able to be doped into the plane of 2D boron clusters, suggesting the possibility of metalloborophenes. Early studies of di-metal-doped boron clusters focused on gold, revealing ladder-like boron structures with terminal gold atoms. Recent observations of highly symmetric Ta 2 B 6 − and Ln 2more »B n − ( n = 7–9) clusters have established a family of inverse sandwich structures with monocyclic boron rings stabilized by two metal atoms. The study of size-selected boron and doped-boron clusters is a burgeoning field of research. Further investigations will continue to reveal more interesting structures and novel chemical bonding, paving the foundation for new boron-based chemical compounds and nanomaterials.« less
  2. Abstract

    Unsupported non-bridged uranium–carbon double bonds have long been sought after in actinide chemistry as fundamental synthetic targets in the study of actinide-ligand multiple bonding. Here we report that, utilizingIh(7)-C80fullerenes as nanocontainers, a diuranium carbide cluster, U=C=U, has been encapsulated and stabilized in the form of UCU@Ih(7)-C80. This endohedral fullerene was prepared utilizing the Krätschmer–Huffman arc discharge method, and was then co-crystallized with nickel(II) octaethylporphyrin (NiII-OEP) to produce UCU@Ih(7)-C80·[NiII-OEP] as single crystals. X-ray diffraction analysis reveals a cage-stabilized, carbide-bridged, bent UCU cluster with unexpectedly short uranium–carbon distances (2.03 Å) indicative of covalent U=C double-bond character. The quantum-chemical results suggest that both U atoms in the UCU unit have formal oxidation state of +5. The structural features of UCU@Ih(7)-C80and the covalent nature of the U(f1)=C double bonds were further affirmed through various spectroscopic and theoretical analyses.

  3. Abstract

    Lanthanide (Ln) elements are generally found in the oxidation state +II or +III, and a few examples of +IV and +V compounds have also been reported. In contrast, monovalent Ln(+I) complexes remain scarce. Here we combine photoelectron spectroscopy and theoretical calculations to study Ln-doped octa-boron clusters (LnB8, Ln = La, Pr, Tb, Tm, Yb) with the rare +I oxidation state. The global minimum of the LnB8species changes fromCstoC7vsymmetry accompanied by an oxidation-state change from +III to +I from the early to late lanthanides. All theC7v-LnB8clusters can be viewed as a monovalent Ln(I) coordinated by a η8-B82−doubly aromatic ligand. The B73−, B82−, and B9series of aromatic boron clusters are analogous to the classical aromatic hydrocarbon molecules, C5H5, C6H6, and C7H7+, respectively, with similar trends of size and charge state and they are named collectively as “borozenes”. Lanthanides with variable oxidation states and magnetic properties may be formed with different borozenes.

  4. Abstract

    The photo-induced dissociative-ionization of lanthanide complexes Ln(hfac)3(Ln = Pr, Er, Yb) is studied using intense ultrafast transform limited (TL) and linearly chirped laser pulses in a time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry setup. Various fluorine and Ln-containing high-mass fragments were observed in this experiment, including the molecular parent ion, which have not been seen with previous studies relying on relatively long-duration laser pulses (i.e., ns or longer). These new high-mass observations provide important formerly missing information for deducing a set of photo-fragmentation mechanistic pathways for Ln(hfac)3. An overall ultrafast control mechanism is proposed by combining insights from earlier studies and the fragments observed in this research to result in three main distinct photo-fragmentation processes: (a) ligand-metal charge transfer, (b) CF3elimination, and (c) C-C bond rotation processes. We conclude that ultrafast dissociative-ionization could be a promising technique for generating high-mass fragments for potential use in material science applications.

  5. Abstract

    Despite its electron deficiency, boron can form multiple bonds with a variety of elements. However, multiple bonds between boron and main-group metal elements are relatively rare. Here we report the observation of boron-lead multiple bonds in PbB2Oand PbB3O2, which are produced and characterized in a cluster beam. PbB2Ois found to have an open-shell linear structure, in which the bond order of B☱Pb is 2.5, while the closed-shell [Pb≡B–B≡O]2–contains a B≡Pb triple bond. PbB3O2is shown to have a Y-shaped structure with a terminal B = Pb double bond coordinated by two boronyl ligands. Comparison between [Pb≡B–B≡O]2–/[Pb=B(B≡O)2]and the isoelectronic [Pb≡B–C≡O]/[Pb=B(C≡O)2]+carbonyl counterparts further reveals transition-metal-like behaviors for the central B atoms. Additional theoretical studies show that Ge and Sn can form similar boron species as Pb, suggesting the possibilities to synthesize new compounds containing multiple boron bonds with heavy group-14 elements.