Superelectrophilic Behavior of an Anion Demonstrated by the Spontaneous Binding of Noble Gases to [B 12 Cl 11] −

Rohdenburg, Markus; Mayer, Martin; Grellmann, Max; Jenne, Carsten; Borrmann, Tobias; Kleemiss, Florian; Azov, Vladimir A.; Asmis, Knut R.; Grabowsky, Simon; Warneke, Jonas (2017). Superelectrophilic Behavior of an Anion Demonstrated by the Spontaneous Binding of Noble Gases to [B 12 Cl 11] −. Angewandte Chemie (International ed.), 56(27), pp. 7980-7985. Wiley-VCH 10.1002/anie.201702237

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It is common and chemically intuitive to assign cations electrophilic and anions nucleophilic reactivity, respectively. Herein, we demonstrate a striking violation of this concept: The anion [B12Cl11]− spontaneously binds to the noble gases (Ngs) xenon and krypton at room temperature in a reaction that is typical of “superelectrophilic” dications. [B12Cl11Ng]− adducts, with Ng binding energies of 80 to 100 kJ mol−1, contain B−Ng bonds with a substantial degree of covalent interaction. The electrophilic nature of the [B12Cl11]− anion is confirmed spectroscopically by the observation of a blue shift of the CO stretching mode in the IR spectrum of [B12Cl11CO]− and theoretically by investigation of its electronic structure. The orientation of the electric field at the reactive site of [B12Cl11]− results in an energy barrier for the approach of polar molecules and facilitates the formation of Ng adducts that are not detected with reactive cations such as [C6H5]+. This introduces the new chemical concept of “dipole‐discriminating electrophilic anions.”

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Kleemiss, Florian, Grabowsky, Simon


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry








Simon Grabowsky

Date Deposited:

05 Feb 2020 16:42

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:35

Publisher DOI:





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