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New homo- and hetero-alkali metal alkoxide cages: crystal structures of [Me2N(CH2)(2)OLi](8) and [{Me2N(CH2)(2)O}(12)Li8K6]O

Andrews, P.C. and MacLellan, J.G. and Mulvey, R.E. and Nichols, P.J. (2002) New homo- and hetero-alkali metal alkoxide cages: crystal structures of [Me2N(CH2)(2)OLi](8) and [{Me2N(CH2)(2)O}(12)Li8K6]O. Dalton Transactions, 2002 (8). pp. 1651-1655. ISSN 1477-9234

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The reaction of N,N'-dimethylaminoethanol (DMAEH), (Me)(2)N(CH2)(2)OH, with (BuLi)-Bu-n and (BuLi)-Bu-n/(BuK)-Bu-n respectively results in the formation of the homo- and hetero-metallic alkoxides [(MeN)-N-2(CH2)(2)OLi](8), 1, and [{Me2N(CH2)(2)O}(12)Li8K6]O, 2, rather than mixed alkyl-alkoxide species. From single crystal X-ray diffraction studies the two complexes are shown to be highly aggregated cage structures. Complex 1 (monoclinic, C2/c) adopts a rare octameric structure constructed from a ring stacked hexamer fused with a (LiO)(2) dimer creating a sixteen vertex Li-O cluster. Complex 2, which crystallises (rhombohedral, R (3) over bar) with thf and cyclohexane molecules in the lattice, forms a highly symmetrical, almost spherical, cage with an unprecedented Li:K ratio of 8:6.