Structural Paradigms in Macropolyhedral Boranes



Macropolyhedral borane clusters are concave polyhedra constituting fused convex simple polyhedra. They are formally obtained by condensation of simple polyhedral boranes under elimination of between one and four BH3 or isoelectronic units. The number of eliminated vertexes from simple polyhedra equals the number of shared vertexes in macropolyhedral boranes. For each of the eight classes with general formulae ranging from BnHn−4 to BnHn+10, more than one structure type is possible, differing in the number of shared vertexes and in the types of the two combined cluster fragments. However, only one type of “potential structures” is represented by experimentally known examples and is found to be favored by theoretical calculations. A sophisticated system exists among the favored macropolyhedral borane structures. For each class of macropolyhedral boranes, the number of skeletal electron pairs is directly related to the general formula, the number of shared vertexes and the type of fused cluster fragments. In order to predict the distribution of vertexes among the fused fragments, we propose the concept of preferred fragments. Preferred fragments are those usually present in the thermodynamically most stable structure of a given class of macropolyhedral boranes and are also frequently observed in the experimentally known structures. This allows us to completely predict the cluster framework of the thermodynamically most stable macropolyhedral borane isomers.