Synthesis and Reactivity of Calcium Diborane(6) and Diboranate Derivatives

Henry T. W. Shere, Michael S. Hill, Samuel E. Neale, Mary F. Mahon, Claire L. McMullin, Andrew S. S. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


Molecular β-diketiminato (BDI) calcium hydride and n-hexyl derivatives are shown to display contrasting reactivities toward bis(pinacolato)diboron (B 2pin 2). Whereas the dimeric constitution of the calcium hydride is retained during formation of an unusual diborane(6) dianion, the initially dimeric organocalcium reagent is converted to a calcium diboranate monomer, [(BDI)Ca{pinB-Bpin(n-hex)}]. Attempts to effect heterolysis of the B−B bond of this latter species in a manner reminiscent of a previously reported magnesium system were unsuccessful and resulted in either dismutation to the homoleptic β-diketiminate, [(BDI) 2Ca], or, in the case of organic nitriles, the generation of N-donor adduct derivatives, [(BDI)Ca(NCR){pinB-Bpin(n-hex)}] (R=t-Bu, i-Pr, o-tol). This latter reactivity again contrasts with the previously reported behaviour of an analogous magnesium diboranate, observations that are rationalised by density functional theory (DFT) calculations to be effectively a consequence of the larger radius and lower resultant steric congestion, of the third-row group 2 cation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202200376
JournalZeitschrift für Anorganische und Allgemeine Chemie
Issue number6-7
Early online date23 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2023

Data Availability Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available in the supplementary material of this article.


  • calcium
  • density functional theory
  • diborane
  • main group chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry


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