A team in the US has created a boron compound that has the highest coordination number of any planar species, squeezing 10 spoke-like bonds from a central metal hub to 10 boron atoms equally spaced around a nanoscopic wheel.
I asked theoretical chemist Pekka Pyykkö of the University of Helsinki, Finland, for his thoughts on the work:
“This combined experimental and theoretical discovery is in my opinion worth of any coverage you can give it. The new record of 10 for an equatorial coordination number, in a perfect symmetry group D10h, will make lovers of records happy,” he told me.
“At a deeper, quantum mechanical level, I find the electronic structure entirely logical and a pretty example of the eighteen-electron (18e) rule,” he adds. “These objects have a classical beauty.”