Boron Forms A Featherweight Aromatic Compound

By virtue of synthesizing a stable B3 ring, inorganic chemists prepared the lightest aromatic species that is experimentally possible this year. The sandwich molecule made by Thomas Kupfer, Holger Braunschweig, and Krzysztof Radacki of Julius Maximilian University Würzburg contains two triboracyclopropenyl dication rings connected by sodium ions. The new species could serve a practical purpose as the first of a family of precursor compounds for preparing semiconducting, superconducting, and magnetic materials (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201508670). The Würzburg team showed through computational, spectroscopic, and electrochemical studies that the B3 ring has an electronic structure consistent with classical aromatic carbon compounds, such as the cyclopropenyl cation and benzene.

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