This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (C.A.R.) and the EPSRC (J.F.N., J.C.G.) and the Oxford Supercomputer Centre. We thank Dr. C. Tate, Dr. S. B Clendenning and Prof. F. G. N. Cloke for assistance with obtaining the tri- and monophosphabenzenes.
Strong yet gentle: Where triflate reagents fail, carborane-based sources of H+, CH3+, and [R3Si]+ electrophiles add to phosphabenzenes preferentially at the P atom rather than C (see picture).