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Issue 17, 2016
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Beyond organic chemistry: aromaticity in atomic clusters

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We describe joint experimental and theoretical studies carried out collaboratively in the authors' labs for understanding the structures and chemical bonding of novel atomic clusters, which exhibit aromaticity. The concept of aromaticity was first discovered to be useful in understanding the square-planar unit of Al4 in a series of MAl4 bimetallic clusters that led to discoveries of aromaticity in many metal cluster systems, including transition metals and similar cluster motifs in solid compounds. The concept of aromaticity has been found to be particularly powerful in understanding the stability and bonding in planar boron clusters, many of which have been shown to be analogous to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in their π bonding. Stimulated by the multiple aromaticity in planar boron clusters, a design principle has been proposed for stable metal-cerntered aromatic molecular wheels of the general formula, M@Bnk. A series of such borometallic aromatic wheel complexes have been produced in supersonic cluster beams and characterized experimentally and theoretically, including Ta@B10 and Nb@B10, which exhibit the highest coordination number in two dimensions.

Graphical abstract: Beyond organic chemistry: aromaticity in atomic clusters

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The article was received on 03 Dec 2015, accepted on 28 Jan 2016 and first published on 28 Jan 2016

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C5CP07465G
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2016,18, 11589-11605

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    Beyond organic chemistry: aromaticity in atomic clusters

    A. I. Boldyrev and L. Wang, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2016, 18, 11589
    DOI: 10.1039/C5CP07465G

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