Stabilizing Two Classical Antiaromatic Frameworks: Demonstration of Photoacoustic Imaging and the Photothermal Effect in Metalla-aromatics
Antiaromatic species are substantially less thermodynamically stable than aromatic moieties. Herein, we report the stabilization of two classical antiaromatic frameworks, cyclobutadiene and pentalene, by introducing one metal fragment through the first [2+2] cycloaddition reaction of a late-transition-metal carbyne with alkynes. Experimental observations and theoretical calculations reveal that the metal fragment decreases the antiaromaticity in cyclobutadiene and pentalene simultaneously, leading to air- and moisture-stable products. These molecules show broad absorption from the UV to the near-IR region, resulting in photoacoustic and photothermal effects for metalla-aromatic compounds for the first time. These results will encourage further efforts into the exploration of organometallic compounds for photoacoustic-imaging-guided photothermal therapy.