Aromaticity

Rhodapentalenes: Pincer Complexes with Internal Aromaticity

Pincer complexes are a remarkably versatile family benefited from their stability, diversity, and tunability. Many of them contain aromatic organic rings at the periphery, and aromaticity plays an important role in their stability and properties, whereas their metallacyclic cores are not aromatic. Herein, we report rhodapentalenes, which can be viewed as pincer complexes in which the metallacyclic cores exhibit considerable aromatic character. Rhodapentalenes show good thermal stability, although the rhodium-carbon bonds in such compounds are fragile.

Reaction Mechanisms on Unusual 1,2‐Migrations of N‐Heterocyclic Carbene‐Ligated Transition Metal Complexes

Unusual 1,2‐migration reactions of N‐heterocyclic carbene (NHC) on transition metals were investigated using density functional theory calculations. Our results reveal that the electronic properties, ring strain of the four‐membered ring, and aromaticity of NHC play crucial roles in the thermodynamics of such a 1,2‐migration.

Probing Reaction Mechanism of [1,5]‐Migration in Pyrrolium and Pyrrole Derivatives: Activation of a Stronger Bond in Electropositive Groups Becomes Easier

The [1,5]‐migration reaction has attracted considerable attention from experimentalists and theoreticians for decades. Although it has been extensively investigated in various systems, studies on pyrrolium derivatives are underdeveloped. Herein, a theoretical study on the reaction mechanism of [1,5]‐migration in both pyrrolium and pyrrole derivatives is presented.

Aromaticity‐promoted C−F Bond Activation in Rhodium Complex: A Facile Tautomerization

Fluorine is the most electronegative element in the periodic table. Thus, activation of the carbon–fluorine (C−F) bond, the strongest single bond to carbon, has attracted considerable interest from both experimentalists and theoreticians. In comparison with numerous approaches to activate C−F bonds, the aromaticity‐promoted method is less developed. Herein, we demonstrate that the C−F bond activation could be achieved by a facile tautomerization, benefitting from aromaticity, which can stabilize both the transition states and products.

Unconventional Aromaticity in Organometallics: The Power of Transition Metals

Aromaticity, one of the most fundamental concepts in chemistry, has attracted considerable attention from both theoreticians and experimentalists. Much effort on aromaticity in organometallics has been devoted to metallabenzene and derivatives. In comparison, aromaticity in other organometallics is less developed. This Account describes how our group has performed quantum chemical calculations to examine aromaticity in recently synthesized novel organometallic complexes.

Rational Design of a Carbon–Boron Frustrated Lewis Pair for Metal‐free Dinitrogen Activation

Molecular nitrogen (N2) is abundant in the atmosphere and nitrogen, found in many biomolecules, is an essential element of life. The Haber–Bosch process, developed over 100 years ago, requires relatively harsh conditions to activate N2 on the iron surface and generate ammonia for use as fertilizer or to produce other chemicals, leading to consumption of more than 2% of the world’s annual energy supply. Thus, developing approaches for N2 activation under mild conditions is particularly important and urgent.

Probing Hyperconjugative Aromaticity of Monosubstituted Cyclopentadienes

Hyperconjugation and aromaticity are two of the most important concepts in chemistry. Mulliken and co‐workers combined both terms to explain the stability of cyclopentadiene. Here, we carried out DFT calculations on a series of mono‐ and disubstituted cyclopentadiene derivatives to investigate their hyperconjugative aromaticity. Our results revealed that one electropositive substituent can induce aromaticity, whereas one electronegative substituent prompts nonaromaticity rather than antiaromaticity.

Probing the Strongest Aromatic Cyclopentadiene Ring by Hyperconjugation

Hyperconjugation, an interaction of electrons in a σ orbital or lone pair with an adjacent π or even σ antibonding orbital, can have a strong effect on aromaticity. However, most work on hyperconjugative aromaticity has been limited to main-group substituents. Here, we report a thorough density functional theory study to evaluate the aromaticity in various cyclopentadienes that contain both main-group and transition-metal substituents.

An isolable catenane consisting of two Möbius conjugated nanohoops

Besides its mathematical importance, the Möbius topology (twisted, single-sided strip) is intriguing at the molecular level, as it features structural elegance and distinct properties; however, it carries synthetic challenges. Although some Möbius-type molecules have been isolated by synthetic chemists accompanied by extensive computational studies, the design, preparation, and characterization of stable Möbius-conjugated molecules remain a nontrivial task to date, let alone that of molecular Möbius strips assembling into more complex topologies.

Probing the Most Aromatic and Antiaromatic Pyrrolium Rings by Maximizing Hyperconjugation and Push–Pull Effect

Hyperconjugation, a weak interaction in organic chemistry, can have a strong effect on aromaticity, leading to the concept of hyperconjugative aromaticity, which was first proposed by Mulliken in 1939. However, most studies are limited to main group chemistry. Here we report the most aromatic and antiaromatic pyrrolium ring by maximizing the hyperconjugation caused by transition metal fragments and the push–pull effect.

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