Four Decades of the Chemistry of Planar Hypercoordinate Compounds

Li Ming Yang, Eric Ganz, Zhongfang Chen, Zhi Xiang Wang, Paul Von Ragué Schleyer

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211 Scopus citations


The idea of planar tetracoordinate carbon (ptC) was considered implausible for a hundred years after 1874. Examples of ptC were then predicted computationally and realized experimentally. Both electronic and mechanical (e.g., small rings and cages) effects stabilize these unusual bonding arrangements. Concepts based on the bonding motifs of planar methane and the planar methane dication can be extended to give planar hypercoordinate structures of other chemical elements. Numerous planar configurations of various central atoms (main-group and transition-metal elements) with coordination numbers up to ten are discussed herein. The evolution of such planar configurations from small molecules to clusters, to nanospecies and to bulk solids is delineated. Some experimentally fabricated planar materials have been shown to possess unusual electrical and magnetic properties. A fundamental understanding of planar hypercoordinate chemistry and its potential will help guide its future development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9468-9501
Number of pages34
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


  • Hypercoordination
  • coordination numbers
  • nonclassical molecules
  • planar coordination
  • theoretical chemistry


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