Tetrahedranyllithium: synthesis, characterization, and reactivity

J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Oct 22;125(42):12684-5. doi: 10.1021/ja030476t.


The first representative of stable tetrahedranyl anion, tris(trimethylsilyl)tetrahedranyllithium (3), has been synthesized by the reaction of tetrakis(trimethylsilyl)tetrahedrane (2) with methyllithium in tetrahydrofuran. The structural characterization of the tetrahedranyllithium has been achieved by X-ray crystallography, showing that the structure of 3.(TMEDA)1.5 represents a stretched tetrahedron. The endocyclic C(Li)-C(SiMe3) bond lengths range from 1.5408(15) to 1.5441(15) A (av 1.5425(15) A), and are longer than the endocyclic C(SiMe3)-C(SiMe3) bond lengths, which range from 1.4961(15) to 1.5009(15) A (av 1.4986(15) A). Methyl- and hydrogen-substituted tetrahedranes have also been prepared by the reaction of 3 with dimethyl sulfate and cyclopentadiene, respectively.