Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First complexation of multiple CO molecules to a non-metal atom

18.06.2015

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.


Caption 1: Molecular structure of the borylene-dicarbonyl in the solid determined by x-ray structure analysis

(Picture: Dr. Florian Hupp and Dr. Krzysztof Radacki)

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

Contact:
Prof. Holger Braunschweig, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Würzburg
Phone: +49 931 31-88104, e-mail: h.braunschweig@uni-wuerzburg.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.presse.uni-wuerzburg.de University's press office

Marco Bosch | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A new molecular player involved in T cell activation
07.12.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht News About a Plant Hormone
07.12.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

Inaugural "Virtual World Tour" scheduled for december

28.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new molecular player involved in T cell activation

07.12.2018 | Life Sciences

High-temperature electronics? That's hot

07.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Supercomputers without waste heat

07.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>