Henry Rzepa's Blog Chemistry with a twist

March 17, 2013

The mysterious (aromatic) structure of n-Butyl lithium.

n-Butyl lithium is hexameric in the solid state[1] and in cyclohexane solutions. Why? Here I try to find out some of its secrets.



  1. T. Kottke, and D. Stalke, "Structures of Classical Reagents in Chemical Synthesis:(nBuLi)6,(tBuLi)4, and the Metastable(tBuLi· Et2O)2", Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English, vol. 32, pp. 580-582, 1993. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.199305801

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