Aromaticity, an old but still fantastic topic, has long attracted considerable interest of chemists. Generally, π aromaticity is described by π-electron delocalization in closed circuits of unsaturated compounds whereas σ-electron delocalization in saturated rings leads to σ aromaticity. Interestingly, our recent study shows that σ aromaticity can be dominating in an unsaturated three-membered ring (3MR) of cyclopropaosmapentalene. An interesting question is raised: Can the σ aromaticity, which is dominant in the unsaturated 3MR, be extended to other cyclopropametallapentalenes?
The concept of aromaticity has long played an important role in chemistry and continues to fascinate both experimentalists and theoreticians. Among the archetypal aromatic compounds, heteroaromatics are particularly attractive. Recently, substitution of a transition-metal fragment for a carbon atom in the anti-aromatic hydrocarbon pentalene has led to the new heteroaromatic osmapentalenes. However, construction of the aza-homolog of osmapentalenes cannot be accomplished by a similar synthetic manipulation.
Antiaromatic compounds and small cyclic alkynes or carbynes are both challenging for synthetic chemists because of the destabilization caused by their antiaromaticity and highly distorted triple bonds, respectively. These dual destabilizations could be the reason why pentalyne (I), a highly antiaromatic and extremely strained cyclic alkyne, has never been synthesized.
Metallaaromatics have attracted continuing interest of both theoretical and experimental chemists since the first metallabenzene was predicted by Hoffmann and isolated by Roper. In sharp contrast to metallabenzenes, metallaphosphabenzene (MPB) is much less developed and has not been synthesized so far. Thus, developing synthetic approaches is urgent. Here we present thorough density functional theory (DFT) calculations on the thermodynamics and kinetics of the rearrangement between MPBs and the corresponding η5-phosphacyclopentadiene (η5-PCp) complexes.