A Stable Bicyclic Compound with Two Si=Si Double Bonds

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Science  20 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5491, pp. 504-506
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5491.504

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In contrast to carbon, silicon does not readily form double bonds, and compounds containing silicon-silicon double bonds can usually be stabilized only by protection with bulky substituents. We have isolated a silicon analog of spiropentadiene 1, a carbon double-ring compound that has not been isolated to date. In the crystal structure of tetrakis[tri(t-butyldimethylsilyl)silyl]spiropentasiladiene2, a substantial deviation from the perpendicular arrangement of the two rings is observed, and the silicon-silicon double bonds are shown to be distorted. Spectroscopic data indicate pronounced interaction between two remote silicon-silicon double bonds in the molecule. Silicon-silicon bonds may be more accessible to synthesis than previously assumed.

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