Structural changes in the series of boron-carbon mixed clusters C xB10-x-(x = 3-10) upon substitution of boron by carbon

We report a theoretical investigation on the ten-atom boron-carbon mixed clusters CxB10-x - (x = 3-10), revealing a molecular wheel to monocyclic ring and linear species structural change as a function of x upon increasing the number of carbon atoms in the studied series. The unbiased searches for the global minimum structures of the clusters with x ranging from 3 to 9 were conducted using the Coalescence Kick program for different spin multiplicities. Subsequent geometry optimizations with follow-up frequency calculations at the hybrid density functional B3LYP/6-311+G(d) level of theory along with the single point coupled-cluster calculations (UCCSD(T)/aug-cc-pVTZ// B3LYP/6- 311+G(d) and RCCSD(T)/aug-cc-pVTZ//B3LYP/6-311+G(d)) revealed that the C3B7 - and C4B6 - clusters possess planar distorted wheel-type structures with a single inner boron atom, similar to the recently reported CB9 - and C2B8 -. Going from C 5B5 - to C9B- inclusive, monocyclic and ringlike structures are observed as the most stable ones on the PES. The first linear species in the presented series is found for the C10 - cluster, which is almost isoenergetic with the one possessing a monocyclic geometry. The classical 2c-2e σ bonds are responsible for the peripheral bonding in both carbon- and boron-rich clusters, whereas multicenter σ bonding (nc-2e bonds with n > 2) on the inner fragments in boron-rich clusters is found to be the effective tool to describe their chemical bonding nature. It was shown that the structural transitions in the CxB 10-x - series occur in part due to the preference of carbon to form localized bonds, which are found on the periphery of the clusters. Chemical bonding picture of C10 - is explained on the basis of the geometrical structures of the C10 and C102- clusters and their chemical bonding analyses. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

Popov I.A.1 , Popov V.F. 2 , Bozhenko K.V. 2 , Černušák I.3 , Boldyrev A.I.1
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  • 1 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322, United States
  • 2 Department of Physical and Colloid Chemistry, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Moscow 117198, Russian Federation
  • 3 Department of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, 84215 Bratislava, Slovakia
Coupled-cluster calculations; Frequency calculations; Geometry optimization; Global minimum structure; Hybrid density functional; Number of carbon atoms; Structural transitions; Theoretical investigations; Atoms; Carbon; Chemical bonds; Geometry; Wheels; Boron
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