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Title: Boron-lead multiple bonds in the PbB2O– and PbB3O2– clusters

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.

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Communications Chemistry
Nature Publishing Group
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National Science Foundation
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