While sp2-hybridized carbon atoms in hydrocarbons typically contribute only one electron to their aromaticity, metals have more electrons from d or f orbitals available for participating in conjugation in organometallics, complicating the electron counting as well as analysis of their aromaticity. Here, the author comments on the challenges towards understanding aromaticity in organometallics and outlines several remaining questions that have yet to be answered.
Aromaticity is a fundamental chemical concept of ever-increasing diversity. According to Hückel’s and Baird’s rules, cyclic conjugated species with 4n+2 π-electrons are aromatic in the singlet electronic ground state (S0) and antiaromatic in the lowest triplet state (T1), and vice-versa. Thus, species with aromaticity in both states have not yet been reported.