Prediction of pKa values of nido-carboranes by density functional theory methods

Pau Farràs, Francesc Teixidor, Vicenç Branchadell

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24 Citations (Scopus)


A great parallel exists between metal complexes of cyclopentadienyl and arene ligands on one side and metal complexes of the nido derivatives of the icosahedral o-carborane clusters. With few exceptions, the metal complexation in the cluster can be viewed as the substitution of one or more bridging hydrogen atoms by the metal. Therefore, a necessary requirement for the complexation is the deprotonation of the nido cluster to generate a coordination site for that metal. The reaction to remove these protons, which most probably is one of the most commonly done processes in boron and metallaborane chemistry, is barely known, and no quantitative data are available on the magnitude of their pK a values. With the purpose of determining the acidity of nido-carboranes, a procedure to calculate the pKa values of nido boron clusters is presented in this paper for the first time. To this objective, some nido clusters have been selected and their geometry and NMR-spectroscopic properties have been studied, giving a good correlation between the theoretical and experimental data in both geometry distances and 11B NMR spectroscopy. Of notice is the result that proves that the singular carbon atom in the thermodynamic isomer of [C2B10H13] - is definitely part of the cluster and that its connection with the C2B3 face would be better defined by adding additional interactions with the two boron atoms nearest to the second cluster carbon. The pKa values of the nido species have been calculated by correlating experimental pKa values and calculated reaction Gibbs energies ΔGs. Some pKa values of importance are -4.6 and +13.5 for 7,8-[C2B9H13] (1) and 7,8-[C 2B9H12]- (2), respectively. © 2006 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7947-7954
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2006


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