CCCCC pentadentate chelates with planar Möbius aromaticity and unique properties
The coordinating atoms in polydentate chelates are primarily heteroatoms. We present the first examples of pentadentate chelates with all binding atoms of the chelating agent being carbon atoms, denoted as CCCCC chelates. Having up to five metal-carbon bonds in the equatorial plane has not been previously observed in transition metal chemistry. Density functional theory calculations showed that the planar metallacycle has extended Craig-Möbius aromaticity arising from 12-center–12-electron dπ-pπ π-conjugation. These planar chelates have broad absorption in the ultraviolet-visible–near-infrared region and, thus, notable photothermal performance upon irradiation by an 808-nm laser, indicating that these chelates have potential applications in photothermal therapy. The combination of facile synthesis, high stability, and broad absorption of these complexes could make the polydentate carbon chain a novel building block in coordination chemistry.