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Synthesis

A Golden Crown

April 28, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 17

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Credit: Courtesy of Shu-Yan Yu
Credit: Courtesy of Shu-Yan Yu

In what some might call a crowning achievement of metal-metal bonding, chemists in China have assembled 36 gold atoms into a crownlike ring, creating the largest member of the gold ring family reported to date (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., DOI: 10.1002/anie.200801001). A team led by Shu-Yan Yu of Renmin University of China, Yi-Zhi Li of Nanjing University, and Vivian Wing-Wah Yam of the University of Hong Kong created the compound (shown) by adding gold tetrahydrothiophene chloride to a bis(dithiocarbamate) ligand containing ferrocenylmethyl substituents. At first, Au6 clusters supported by the ligand form in solution. When this solution is concentrated, the clusters assemble into a hexameric Au36 structure. The researchers report that the gold-gold bonding interactions are strong, with an average bond length of 2.890 Å. "This work provides a method for the construction of macrocyclic hosts from unique metal-metal bonding interactions and it is envisioned that the present work is not only promising for the development of supramolecular chemistry but also for nanostructured materials," the authors write.

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