Directed gas-phase formation of the ethynylsulfidoboron molecule

J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Jun 11;136(23):8387-92. doi: 10.1021/ja502636u. Epub 2014 May 30.


As a member of the organo sulfidoboron (RBS) family, the hitherto elusive ethynylsulfidoboron molecule (HCCBS) has been formed via the bimolecular reaction of the boron monosulfide radical (BS) with acetylene (C2H2) under single collision conditions in the gas phase, exploiting the crossed molecular beams technique. The reaction mechanism follows indirect dynamics via a barrierless addition of the boron monosulfide radical with its boron atom to the carbon atom of the acetylene molecule, leading to the trans-HCCHBS intermediate. As predicted by ab initio electronic structure calculations, the initial collision complex either isomerizes to its cis-form or undergoes a hydrogen atom migration to form H2CCBS. The cis-HCCHBS intermediate either isomerizes via hydrogen atom shift from the carbon to the boron atom, leading to the HCCBHS isomer, or decomposes to ethynylsulfidoboron (HCCBS). Both H2CCBS and HCCBHS intermediates were predicted to fragment to ethynylsulfidoboron via atomic hydrogen losses. Statistical (RRKM) calculations report yields to form the ethynylsulfidoboron molecule from cis-HCCHBS, H2CCBS, and HCCBHS to be 21%, 7%, and 72%, respectively, under current experimental conditions. Our findings open up an unconventional path to access the previously obscure class of organo sulfidoboron molecules, which are difficult to access through "classical" formation.