La-Activated Bicyclo-oligomerization of Acetylene to Naphthalene

Dilrukshi Hewage, W. Ruchira Silva, Wenjin Cao, Dong Sheng Yang

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32 Scopus citations


We report the first example of metal-mediated acetylene bicyclopentamerization to form naphthalene in the gas phase. The bicyclic aromatic compound was observed in a complex with La. The La(naphthalene) complex was formed by the reaction of laser-ablated La atoms with acetylene molecules in a molecular beam source and was characterized by mass-analyzed threshold ionization spectroscopy. The bicyclo-oligomerization reaction occurs through sequential acetylene additions coupled with dehydrogenation. Three intermediates in the reaction have been identified: lanthanacyclopropene [La(C2H2)], La(cyclobut-1-en-3-yne) [La(C4H2)], and La(benzyne) [(La(C6H4)]. The metal-ligand bonding in the three intermediates is considerably different from that in the La(naphthalene) complex, as suggested by accurately measured adiabatic ionization energies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2468-2471
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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