The structures of five-vertex dimetallaboranes Cp2M2B3H7 (Cp = η5-C5H5) of the second and third row transition metals, including the experimentally known Cp*2Rh2B3H7 (Cp* = η5-Me5C5), have been investigated by density functional theory. The predicted low-energy structures for Cp2M2B3H7 (M = Rh, Ir) are tetragonal pyramids similar to Cp*2Rh2B3H7 and pentaborane-9 B5H9 and consistent with their 14 Wadean skeletal electrons. Two Cp*2Rh2B3H7 structures with the same central Rh2B3 tetragonal prism are found with energies within ∼1 kcal mol−1 of each other, consistent with the experimental observation of two isomers in solution. The electron-richer Cp2M2B3H7 (M = Pd, Pt) systems having 16 Wadean skeletal electrons are predicted to exhibit more open structures analogous to the known structure for the valence isoelectronic pentaborane-11 B5H11. Trigonal bipyramids with the metal atoms at equatorial vertices are typically found to be low-energy structures for the hypoelectronic Cp2M2B3H7 systems (M = Ru, Os, Re, Mo, W, Ta). In addition, the low-energy Cp2Re2B3H7 structures of the rhenium derivatives Cp2Re2B3H7 provide examples of structures based on a central Re2B2 tetrahedron with the Re–Re edge bridged by the third boron atom. Such structures can be derived from a trigonal bipyramid by the rupture of one of the axial–equatorial edges.
- This article is part of the themed collection: In memory of Professor Kenneth Wade