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A complexed C2 molecule: that is one way of describing the C2 unit of the compound Ph3B⊖[BOND]C [TRIPLE BOND] C[BOND]⊕PMePh2 (1), which is derived from ethynyldiphenylphosphane, butyllithium, BPh3, and methyl iodide. The bulky substituents shield the C[TRIPLE BOND]C bond so effectively that 1 does not react with 1, 3-dipoles. At the same time, however, its P-CH3 group is transformed into P-C2H5 by deprotonation and methylation.