According to Hückel’s and Baird’s rules, cyclic conjugated species are aromatic either in the ground state or in the excited state only. Thus, species with aromaticity in both states (denoted as adaptive aromaticity) are particularly rare. Here we carry out density functional theory calculations on a series of osmapyridine and osmapyridinium complexes (96 species) and find that two of them display adaptive aromaticity, which was verified by various aromaticity indices including HOMA, ELFπ, MCI, ACIDπ plots and the heat of hydrogenation.
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.