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6 years ago


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Diborane adopts a D2h structure containing four terminal and two bridging hydrogen atoms. The model determined by MOT indicates that the bonds between boron and the terminal hydrogen atoms are conventional 2-center, 2-electron covalent bonda. The bonding between the boron atoms and the bridging hydrogen atoms is, however, different from that in molecules such as hydrocarbons. Having used two electrons in bonding to the terminal hydrogen atoms, each boron has one valcence electron remaining for additional bonding. The bridging hydrogen atoms provide one electron each. Thus the B2H2 ring is held together with four electrons, an example of 3-center-2-electron bonding . This type of bond is sometimes called a 'banana bond'. The lengths of the B-Hbridge bonds and the B-Hterminal bonds are 1.33 and 1.19 Å respectively, and this difference in the lengths of these bonds reflects the difference in their strengths, the B-Hbridge bonds being relatively weaker. The structure is isoelectronic with C2H62+, which would arise from the diprotonation of the planar molecule ethene. Diborane is one of many compounds with such unusual bonding.


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