Crystal Structure of a Silyl Cation with No Coordination to Anion and Distant Coordination to Solvent

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Science  25 Jun 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5116, pp. 1917-1918
DOI: 10.1126/science.260.5116.1917


The crystal structure of a stable silyl cation, triethylsilylium, in the form of its tetrakis (pentafluorophenyl)borate salt [Et3Si+ (C6F5)4B-] (Et, ethyl) shows no coordination between cation and anion. The closest silicon-fluorine distance is greater than 4 angstroms. A toluene solvent molecule is close enough to cause some deviations from planarity at the silicon, but the silicon-toluene distance is well beyond the sum of the silicon and carbon covalent radii. The toluene molecule is essentially planar and undistorted, as expected if little or no positive charge has been transferred from silicon to toluene.