Title: Substantial π -aromaticity in the anionic heavy-metal cluster [Th@Bi 12 ] 4−
Author: Armin R. Eulenstein, Yannick J. Franzke, Niels Lichtenberger, Robert J. Wilson, H. Lars Deubner, Florian Kraus, Rodolphe Clrac, Florian Weigend, Stefanie Dehnen
Abstract: The concept of aromaticity was originally defined as a property of unsaturated, cyclic planar organic molecules like benzene, which gain stability by the inherent delocalization of 4n+2 π-electrons over the ring atoms. Since then, π-aromaticity has been observed for a large variety of organic and inorganic non-metal compounds, yet, for molecules consisting only of metal atoms, it has remained restricted to systems with three to five atoms. Here, we present the straightforward synthesis of a metal 12-ring that exhibits 2π-aromaticity and has a ring current much stronger than that of benzene (6π) and equivalent to that of porphine (26π), despite these organic molecules having (much) larger numbers of π-electrons. Highly reducing reaction conditions allowed access to the heterometallic anion [Th@Bi12]4, with interstitial Th4+ stabilizing a Bi128 moiety. Our results show that it is possible to design and generate substantial π-aromaticity in large metal rings, and we hope that such π-aromatic heavy-metal cycles will eventually find use in cluster-based reactions.