When is a vertex not a vertex? An analysis of the structures of [MB10H12] metallaboranes

Stuart Alan Macgregor, Andrew J Wynd, Nicola Moulden, Robert O Gould, Paul Taylor, Lesley J Yellowlees, Alan Jeffrey Welch

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11 Citations (Scopus)


There are two extreme descriptions of the bonding between metal fragments and the {B10H12} ligand. In the first the metal is regarded as a full cluster vertex in an 11 vertex nido metallaborane; the B-10 residue is formally arachno-{B10H12}4-. In the second the metal is a poor cluster vertex and does not significantly perturb the borane fragment architecture, formally nido-{B10H12}2-. nido-{B10H12}2- and arachno-{B10H12}4- have exactly the same pattern of connectivities, but their structures may be distinguished by root mean square (r.m.s.) misfit calculations. Applications of these calculations to [MB10H12] metallaboranes reveals clear examples of both extreme formalisms, and in [(C6H11)3PAuB10H12]- and [(OC)3CoB10H12]- the formal metal oxidation states (Au+, Co3+) that follow directly from these descriptions of the {B10H12} ligand agree well with independent measurement. In addition, however, several metallaboranes are found to have structures in which the B-10 residue lies between that of {B10H12}2- and {B10H12}4-. The verticity of a metal fragment is introduced as a convenient way of describing its relative degree of incorporation into the metallaborane as a true cluster vertex. By analysis of the results of extended-Huckel molecular orbital-fragment molecular orbital (EHMO-FMO) calculations verticity is found, to a first approximation, to be directly related to the number of available valence orbitals the metal fragment possesses. Metal fragments that are one-orbital sources are poor vertices, whilst those that are three-orbital sources are good vertices, but the boundary between good- and poor-metal vertex is not well defined and there is, in essence, a continuum of verticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3317-3324
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1991




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