Hunting dimers

  • Andrey Yu. Rogachev
  • Paul Jerabek
  • Susanne Klein
  • Gernot FrenkingEmail author
  • Roald HoffmannEmail author
Regular Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Jemmis Festschrift Collection


HBCBH and HAlCAlH are related electron-deficient molecules, predicted as local minima on their respective potential energy surfaces. Different views of their electronic structure—as allenes, carbenes, or carbones—prompted two research groups to a friendly competition exploring the predilection of these small molecules to dimerize. Many such dimers emerged from the calculations, some with large enthalpies favoring dimerization. Most interesting among these is an octahedral didehydrocarborane (or alane). The menagerie of (HECEH)2, E = B, Al structures obtained shows great variety in its bonding patterns. That variety is instructive, for it points to the necessity of examining dimerization for any theoretically postulated metastable molecule. We also learn of the continuing utility of simple Lewis structures, the acid–base reactivity of carbones and carbenes, and the dominant role of electron deficiency in borane and alane chemistry.


Borylene Alane Bonding analysis Dimerization Quantum chemical calculations 



We are grateful to Cornell for the support of our research by the National Science Foundation through grant CHE-0910623. The work at Marburg was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

Supplementary material

214_2012_1149_MOESM1_ESM.doc (4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 4084 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Baker LabCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Fachbereich ChemiePhilipps-Universität MarburgMarburgGermany

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