Isomerisation of nido-[C2B10H12]2− dianions: unprecedented rearrangements and new structural motifs in carborane cluster chemistry

David McKay, Stuart A. Macgregor, Alan J. Welch
  • Chemical Science, January 2015, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • DOI: 10.1039/c5sc00726g

What is it about?

This work is about carboranes, clusters made up of carbon and boron atoms, and how they rearrange when they are reduced (i.e. electrons are added), resulting in nido-carboranes. Previous studies looked at rearrangement of carboranes in their neutral form and found the process to be exceedingly difficult. However, the rearrangements of nido-carboranes are facile, unpredictable and variable and involve a series of newly-discovered structures and processes.

Why is it important?

The work is important because the reduction (addition of electrons) of carboranes is the first step towards building larger clusters, since following reduction the cluster opens up, allowing a new atom to be added. The applications of the cluster, which rely on its size or the types of atoms it contains, are thus enhanced. This 'polyhedral expansion' has been carried out a great number of times despite the way in which the starting cluster rearranges after reduction being somewhat of a mystery until now.

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