Inorganic Chemistry

A pair of tablemates for aromatic benzene

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Science  09 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6304, pp. 1110-1111
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6304.1110-f

Chemists do not designate a compound as aromatic because it smells nice. Rather, the term refers to the stability conferred by a particular delocalized arrangement of electrons first characterized in benzene and related carbon rings. Is the concept exclusive to carbon? Over the years, inorganic chemists have extended it to a range of analogs composed of other elements, and now Seitz et al. introduce two more. Specifically, they prepared hexagonal benzene analogs in which three silicon centers alternate with either three phosphorus or three arsenic centers. Structural and computational characterization supported aromaticity. The reactions fortuitously also produced tetragonal cyclobutadiene analogs that were weakly antiaromatic.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/jacs.6b07389 (2016).

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