Up until now, there have been attempts at synthesizing octafluorocubane, shown below, but success has been elusive.

C8F8 from https://www.science.org/do/10.1126/a9b6212c-ea5f-46c5-af6f-ef3d2d1893f0/full/octafluorocubane.png

Has there been any success, and how might the symmetry and fluorine's electron affinity affect its properties?


1 Answer 1


[Caveat: This is not so much a question-and-answer as a desire to share Derek Lowe's article in his inimitable style. Given enough down-votes, I'll delete both Q-&-A. But enjoy the synthesis summary, cited below!]

Yes! The synthesis of perfluorocubane (or octafluorocubane, if you prefer) has been accomplished, as described by Derek Lowe, "[I]t is predicted to have the ability to hold a free electron in the middle of that cube (!) That's because of the C-F bond properties - all the electron density is being pulled towards the F atoms, so the center of the cube really has room for one to sit in there without running into a lot of interference... [T]here are eight sigma-star orbitals from those C-F bonds all pointing into the center of the cage and overlapping, and giving you effectively a stabilized vacant orbital there."

Get more details in Lowe's article!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Quantum Mechanics: A Hand-Waving Approach" - I'd buy that book if Derek wrote it! $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2022 at 22:44
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    $\begingroup$ I'll upvote if you go into the related HN comments section and straighten-out some of those goofy comments :) $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2022 at 23:59
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    $\begingroup$ @ToddMinehardt, I'd upvote anyone who convinces Lowe to continue his series, Things I Won't Work With, or start another! They're great material for teaching, or just for personal edification and amusement. $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2022 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ I think the electron is trapped by the 8 positively charged carbons. $\endgroup$ Aug 25, 2022 at 2:10
  • $\begingroup$ They should try dodecahedrane next! $\endgroup$
    – matt_black
    Aug 25, 2022 at 11:22

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