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J Chem Phys. 2010 Oct 7;133(13):134302. doi: 10.1063/1.3488103.

The applicability of three-dimensional aromaticity in BiSn(n)- Zintl analogues.

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  • 1Department of Physics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23284, USA.


Three-dimensional aromaticity is shown to play a role in the stability of deltahedral Zintl clusters and here we examine the connection between aromaticity and stability. In order to gain further insight, we have studied Zintl analogs comprised of bismuth doped tin clusters with photoelectron spectroscopy and theoretical methods. To assign aromaticity, we examine the ring currents induced around the cage by using the nucleus independent chemical shift. In the current study, BiSn(4)(-) is a stable cluster and fits aromatic criteria, while BiSn(5)(-) is found to fit antiaromatic criteria and has reduced stability. The more stable clusters exhibit an aromatic character which originates from weakly interacting s-states and bonding orbitals parallel to the surface of the cluster, while nonbonding lone pairs perpendicular to the surface of the cluster account for antiaromaticity and reduced stability. The effect of three-dimensional aromaticity on the electronic structure does not result in degeneracies, so the resulting variations in stability are smaller than those seen in conventional aromaticity.

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