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Exploring Cu/Al cluster growth and reactivity: from embryonic building blocks to intermetalloid, open-shell superatoms

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Abstract

Cluster growth reactions in the system [Cu5](Mes)5 + [Al4](Cp*)4 (Mes = mesitylene, Cp* = pentamethylcyclopentadiene) were explored and monitored by in situ LIFDI-MS and 1H-NMR. Feedback into experimental design allowed for an informed choice and precise adjustment of reaction conditions and led to isolation of the intermetallic cluster [Cu4Al4](Cp*)5(Mes) (1). Cluster 1 reacts with excess 3-hexyne to yield the triangular cluster [Cu2Al](Cp*)3 (2). The two embryonic [Cu4Al4](Cp*)5(Mes) and [Cu2Al](Cp*)3 clusters 1 and 2, respectively, were shown to be intermediates in the formation of an inseparable composite of the closely related clusters [Cu7Al6](Cp*)6 (3), [HCu7Al6](Cp*)6 (3H) and [Cu8Al6](Cp*)6 (4), which just differ by one Cu core atom. The radical nature of the open-shell superatomic [Cu7Al6](Cp*)6 cluster 3 is reflected in its reactivity towards addition of one Cu core atom leading to the closed shell superatom [Cu8Al6](Cp*)6 (4), and as well by its ability to undergo σ(C–H) and σ(Si–H) activation reactions of C6H5CH3 (toluene) and (TMS)3SiH (TMS = tris(trimethylsilyl)).

Graphical abstract: Exploring Cu/Al cluster growth and reactivity: from embryonic building blocks to intermetalloid, open-shell superatoms

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Article information


Submitted
14 Jan 2021
Accepted
30 Mar 2021
First published
01 Apr 2021

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2021, Advance Article
Article type
Edge Article

Exploring Cu/Al cluster growth and reactivity: from embryonic building blocks to intermetalloid, open-shell superatoms

M. Schütz, C. Gemel, M. Muhr, C. Jandl, S. Kahlal, J. Saillard and R. A. Fischer, Chem. Sci., 2021, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D1SC00268F

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