Electron in a cube: Synthesis and characterization of perfluorocubane as an electron acceptor



Masafumi Sugiyama, Midori Akiyama, Yuki Yonezawa, Kenji Komaguchi, Masahiro Higashi, Kyoko Nozaki, and Takashi Okazoe


Fluorinated analogs of polyhedral hydrocarbons have been predicted to localize an electron within their cages upon reduction. Here, we report the synthesis and characterization of perfluorocubane, a stable polyhedral fluorocarbon. The key to the successful synthesis was the efficient introduction of multiple fluorine atoms to cubane by liquid-phase reaction with fluorine gas. The solid-state structure of perfluorocubane was confirmed using x-ray crystallography, and its electron-accepting character was corroborated electrochemically and spectroscopically. The radical anion of perfluorocubane was examined by matrix-isolation electron spin resonance spectroscopy, which revealed that the unpaired electron accepted by perfluorocubane is located predominantly inside the cage.