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Ambient-Temperature Isolation of a Compound with a Boron-Boron Triple Bond

Science  15 Jun 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6087, pp. 1420-1422
DOI: 10.1126/science.1221138

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Abstract

Homoatomic triple bonds between main-group elements have been restricted to alkynes, dinitrogen, and a handful of reactive compounds featuring trans-bent heavier elements of groups 13 and 14. Previous attempts to prepare a compound with a boron-boron triple bond that is stable at ambient temperature have been unsuccessful, despite numerous computational studies predicting their viability. We found that reduction of a bis(N-heterocyclic carbene)-stabilized tetrabromodiborane with either two or four equivalents of sodium naphthalenide, a one-electron reducing agent, yields isolable diborene and diboryne compounds. Crystallographic and spectroscopic characterization confirm that the latter is a halide-free linear system containing a boron-boron triple bond.

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