For the first time, Würzburg scientists have successfully bound multiple carbon monoxide molecules to the main group element boron. They report on their work in the latest issue of the scientific journal Nature.
Scientists of Professor Holger Braunschweig's team of the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Würzburg have successfully bound two carbon monoxide molecules (CO) to the main group element boron in a direct synthesis for the first time. The result is a borylene-dicarbonyl complex.
Such complexes, or coordination complexes, are generally made up of one or more central molecules and one or more ligands. The central molecules are usually atoms of transition metals.
"Binding one CO molecule to a main group element is already extraordinary. Bonding two molecules two one non-metal atom is even more extraordinary," says chemist Rian Dewhurst. Dewhurst, who is working on Professor Holger Braunschweig's team, submitted the article together with several co-authors. It is the first work of the institute to have been accepted by the journal Nature.
"In future, borylene-dicarbonyls could be used to mimic the properties of transition metal carbonyl complexes," Dewhurst further. Transition metals have specific electronic properties. These elements from group four to twelve in the periodic table have the ability to bind multiple carbon monoxide molecules relatively easily.
Advantages of boron compounds
Generally, boron compounds are important for various industrial applications. They are used, for example, in catalytic processes, in various molecular and solid materials or in the production of pharmaceutical drugs. A catalyst accelerates a desired chemical reaction without being consumed in the process.
Boron has the advantage of being readily available and comparably low-priced. It occurs naturally mostly in mineral form and is mined in borate mines in California and Turkey, for example. Moreover, the element is non-toxic for humans and other mammals. "Combined with its unique electronic properties, this makes boron very interesting for industrial and other commercial uses," Dewhurst explains.
Boron is a highly reactive element. With three electrons on the outer shells, boron strives to form bonds that enable eight electrons, which the noble gases neon, argon or xenon already have in their basic state.
Lone electron pair at the central molecule
The borylene-dicarbonyl complex also has eight electrons involved in the bonds to the boron atom. With two electrons, respectively, presenting the bonds to the two CO molecules and two others binding one hydrocarbyl, the researchers were able to establish one lone electron pair amounting to eight electrons in total. "It is the lone electron pair that makes the complex special. The hydrocarbyl assures stability. It shields the structure in a manner of speaking," says Marco Nutz, a doctoral candidate. He adds: "Most compounds that can be isolated in this way are unstable outside a protective atmosphere." The Würzburg discovery, however, remains stable for several days even in a "normal" environment exposed to air and moisture.
Dewhurst and Nutz are conducting basic research. "In a next step, we are going to further investigate the compound we have presented. We are pursuing different angles here," Dewhurst says. One focus will be to compare the properties of conventional transition metal carbonyl complexes with those of the borylene-carbonyl complex in detail.
In recent years, the attention of natural science has progressively focused on boron. According to Dewhurst, the increasing significance of boron is also reflected in the growing interest in the element on the part of organic chemistry and in the fact that material science, too, is closely following the advances made in boron complex research.
"Multiple Complexation of CO and Related Ligands to a Main Group Element" by Holger Braunschweig, Rian D. Dewhurst, Florian Hupp, Marco Nutz, Krzysztof Radacki, Christopher W. Tate, Alfredo Vargas, Qing Ye. Nature vol 522, issue 7556 pp.327-330, DOI 10.1038/nature14489
Prof. Holger Braunschweig, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Würzburg
Phone: +49 931 31-88104, e-mail: email@example.com
http://www.presse.uni-wuerzburg.de University's press office
Marco Bosch | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Further reports about: > CO molecules > Julius-Maximilians-Universität > basic research > bonds > carbon monoxide > carbon monoxide molecules > catalytic processes > chemical reaction > electronic properties > industrial applications > material science > natural science > noble gases > organic chemistry > pharmaceutical drugs > solid materials > transition metal
Molecular Force Sensors
20.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Foster tadpoles trigger parental instinct in poison frogs
20.09.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
20.09.2017 | Life Sciences
20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy