Inorganic Chemistry

Aluminum squared

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Science  29 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6469, pp. 1091-1092
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6469.1091-g

Three-coordinate aluminum compounds are potent Lewis acids: They readily attract electron donors, binding them to form a saturated tetrahedral product. Ebner et al. now report that four-coordinate aluminum can act as a Lewis acid, too, so long as it's forced ahead of time into a square planar geometry. To attain this unusual bonding motif, they embedded an aluminum(III) ion within a macrocycle of four negatively charged pyrrole donors. In addition to binding tetrahydrofuran, this aluminum center accepted hydride and fluoride ligands.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 141, 18009 (2019).

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