Cobalt-Boron Molecular Drum Beats Coordination Record

A multinational research team this year created a drum-shaped cobalt-boron species in the gas phase, CoB16, which set a record for highest coordination number in a molecule. The sandwich complex created by Alexander I. Boldyrev of Utah State University, Lai-Sheng Wang of Brown University, and their colleagues consists of two B8 rings connected to the central cobalt atom via 16 bonds, the theoretical maximum based on the number of available atomic orbitals (Nat. Commun. 2015, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9654). The researchers made the molecular drum by vaporizing a cobalt-boron target with a laser and then isolating CoB16 clusters from the product mixture and analyzing them spectroscopically and computationally.

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