C2 (dicarbon) is certainly interesting from a theoretical point of view. Whether or not it can be described as having a quadruple bond has induced much passionate discussion,,,. Its occurrence in space and in flames is also well-known. But does it have what might be called a conventional chemistry? Other highly reactive species (cyclobutadiene is a well-known example) can often be tamed by trapping as a ligand coordinated to a metal and so one might speculate upon how C2 responds to the proximity of a metal. As is noted here, dicarbon as a ligand has been known a long time as part of what is referred to as carbide chemistry. In this regard it is thought of as the di-anion, C22- (and isoelectronic therefore with dinitrogen). Thus calcium carbide, but in fact the degree to which the dicarbon can absorb electrons is thought to be wide (as judged by the resulting C-C bond length, see). Here I take a look at just one metal carbide that caught my eye (there are hundreds of others, many no doubt equally interesting!).
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- E. Dashjav, Y. Prots, G. Kreiner, W. Schnelle, F.R. Wagner, and R. Kniep, "Chemical bonding analysis and properties of La7Os4C9—A new structure type containing C- and C2-units as Os-coordinating ligands", Journal of Solid State Chemistry, vol. 181, pp. 3121-3130, 2008. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jssc.2008.08.005