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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Spherical trihedral metallo-borospherenes.

  • Author(s): Chen, Teng-Teng
  • Li, Wan-Lu
  • Chen, Wei-Jia
  • Yu, Xiao-Hu
  • Dong, Xin-Ran
  • Li, Jun
  • Wang, Lai-Sheng
  • et al.

The discovery of borospherenes unveiled the capacity of boron to form fullerene-like cage structures. While fullerenes are known to entrap metal atoms to form endohedral metallofullerenes, few metal atoms have been observed to be part of the fullerene cages. Here we report the observation of a class of remarkable metallo-borospherenes, where metal atoms are integral parts of the cage surface. We have produced La3B18- and Tb3B18- and probed their structures and bonding using photoelectron spectroscopy and theoretical calculations. Global minimum searches revealed that the most stable structures of Ln3B18- are hollow cages with D3h symmetry. The B18-framework in the Ln3B18- cages can be viewed as consisting of two triangular B6 motifs connected by three B2 units, forming three shared B10 rings which are coordinated to the three Ln atoms on the cage surface. These metallo-borospherenes represent a new class of unusual geometry that has not been observed in chemistry heretofore.

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