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Preparation and Properties of Gallaborane, GaBH6:  Structure of the Gaseous Molecule H2Ga(μ-H)2BH2 As Determined by Vibrational, Electron Diffraction, and ab Initio Studies, and Structure of the Crystalline Solid at 110 K As Determined by X-ray Diffraction

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journal contribution
posted on 31.05.2001, 00:00 by Anthony J. Downs, Tim M. Greene, Emma Johnsen, Paul T. Brain, Carole A. Morrison, Simon Parsons, Colin R. Pulham, David W. H. Rankin, Kirsten Aarset, Ian M. Mills, Elizabeth M. Page, David A. Rice
Gallaborane (GaBH6, 1), synthesized by the metathesis of LiBH4 with [H2GaCl]n at ca. 250 K, has been characterized by chemical analysis and by its IR and 1H and 11B NMR spectra. The IR spectrum of the vapor at low pressure implies the presence of only one species, viz. H2Ga(μ-H)2BH2, with a diborane-like structure conforming to C2v symmetry. The structure of this molecule has been determined by gas-phase electron diffraction (GED) measurements afforced by the results of ab initio molecular orbital calculations. Hence the principal distances (rα in Å) and angles (∠α in deg) are as follows:  r(Ga···B), 2.197(3); r(Ga−Ht), 1.555(6); r(Ga−Hb), 1.800(6); r(B−Ht), 1.189(7); r(B−Hb), 1.286(7); ∠Hb−Ga−Hb, 71.6(4); and ∠Hb−B−Hb, 110.0(5) (t = terminal, b = bridging). Aggregation of the molecules occurs in the condensed phases. X-ray crystallographic studies of a single crystal at 110 K reveal a polymeric network with helical chains made up of alternating pseudotetrahedral GaH4 and BH4 units linked through single hydrogen bridges; the average Ga···B distance is now 2.473(7) Å. The compound decomposes in the condensed phases at temperatures exceeding ca. 240 K with the formation of elemental Ga and H2 and B2H6. The reactions with NH3, Me3N, and Me3P are also described.