Issue Date: August 4, 2008
Uranium-Aluminum Bond A First
A novel complex that contains a uranium-aluminum bond adds to the growing field of metal-metal bond chemistry (J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja8042382). The molecule, created by John Arnold, Jamin L. Krinsky, and Stefan G. Minasian of the University of California, Berkeley, is the first to contain a bond between an actinide and a group 13 metal. That the bond doesn't require any bridging groups to hold it together "means the uranium-aluminum interaction is a reasonably strong one, all on its own," Arnold says. The uranium-aluminum interaction is stabilized by a pentamethylcyclopentadiene (Cp*) ligand and three trimethylsilyl-substituted cyclopentadiene ligands. Arnold's group drew its initial inspiration from several lines of work in other labs, including the discovery of bonds between lanthanides and the Cp*Al ligand and the knowledge that Cp*Al is loosely analogous to carbon monoxide, which is known to bind to lanthanides and actinides. "We were curious to extend that work to actinides," Arnold says. The group is now exploring the reactivity of the complex and working to synthesize related compounds.
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