Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)


Colby College. Chemistry Dept.


Smith, Wayne L.

Second Advisor

Evans B. Reid

Third Advisor

George S. Maier


The ability of macroheterocyclic compounds to complex with ionic species has led to the synthesis and investigation of many multidentate macroheterocyclic species. The most stable complexes are formed between macrocyclic polyetheral ligands (crown ethers) with alkali or alkaline earth metal iona. There is an excellent correlation of the stability of these complexes with the size of the cation and the site of the cavity in the macrocyclic ligand. Additional factors, such as the basicity of the ligand and the solvating ability of the solvent, also play important roles in the stabilization of the complex. The stability of such complexes has been advantageously used to increase anionic reactivity and has been successfully applied to several organic fluorinations, oxidations, and similar reactions. The use of macrocyclic ligands in inorganic syntheses of otherwise difficult to obtain fluoro compounds has not been reported. O-carborane and m-carborane, C2BlOHl2, are icosahedral cage systems derived from Bl2H122- by replacement of BH with the isoelectronic CH group. These stable molecules exhibit electron-deficient bonding which can best be explained by delocalization of electrons. This delocalization gives rise to stability similar to that found in aromatic hydrocarbons. Crown ether activated potassium fluoride has been successfully employed in the conversion of alkyl, acyl and aryl halides to their respective fluorides. Analogously halide substituted carboranes were prepared, but their fluoro-derivatives were not obtained. The application of crown ethers in the synthesis of transition metal complexes is relatively unexplored. The usual synthesis of fluoro-derivative transition metal complexes involves highly reactive and toxic fluorinating agents such as antimony trifluoride, antimony penta fluoride. bromine trifluoride and hydrogen fluoride, An attempted preparation of the hexafluoroosmate (IV) ion via a crown activated, or naked fluoride~was unsuccessful. Potassium hexafluoroosmate (IV), K208F6. was eventually prepared using bromine trifluoride as a fluorinating and oxidizing agent .


Crown ethers, Ethers, Inorganic compounds synthesis

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