Glen Junor, a graduate student and the University of California, San Diego, made these spindly aminoborane crystals in just six hours. Getting nitrogen to bond with boron can be tough; usually the reaction needs a catalyst to make it happen at all. But researchers in Guy Bertrand’s laboratory discovered a quick and easy way to make nitrogen-boron bonds in organic molecules by mixing amines with boranes. This reaction didn’t even need solvent; Junor just mixed the two liquid reactants, 4-trifluoromethylaniline and pinacolborane. He heated and stirred the mixture and then vacuum-dried the flask to evaporate off any leftover starting material. As the product cooled back down to room temperature, these crystal patterns formed along the sides of the flask.
Submitted by Glen Junor, read the paper DOI: 10.1039/c6cc06096j
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