Hyperconjugative aromaticity and protodeauration reactivity of polyaurated indoliums
Aromaticity generally describes a cyclic structure composed of sp2-hybridized carbon or hetero atoms with remarkable stability and unique reactivity. The doping of even one sp3-hybridized atom often damages the aromaticity due to the interrupted electron conjugation. Here we demonstrate the occurrence of an extended hyperconjugative aromaticity (EHA) in a metalated indole ring which contains two gem-diaurated tetrahedral carbon atoms. The EHA-involved penta-aurated indolium shows extended electron conjugation because of dual hyperconjugation. Furthermore, the EHA-induced low electron density on the indolyl nitrogen atom enables a facile protodeauration reaction for the labile Au-N bond. In contrast, the degraded tetra-aurated indolium with a single gem-dimetalated carbon atom exhibits poor bond averaging and inertness in the protodeauration reaction. The aromaticity difference in such two polyaurated indoliums is discussed in the geometrical and electronic perspectives. This work highlights the significant effect of metalation on the aromaticity of polymetalated species.