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Figure. A Chinese puzzle ball consisting of decrative concentric spheres.

Two isostructural and concentric clusters [Cu28(H)15(S2CNR)12]PF6 (NR=NnPr2, aza-15-crown-5) are air- and moisture stable and were prepared through a one pot synthesis.  Researchers from National Dong Hwa University, in collaboration with scientists from Australia and France used a combination of neutron and X-ray diffraction and NMR to determine the structure of this rhombicuboctahedral copper polyhydride complex.  The onion-like structure displays a geometric entity that is reminiscent of a Chinese puzzle ball was characterised on the KOALA diffractometer by measuring over 57,000 reflections.  The presence of capping, truncating, and interstitial hydrides within the metal framework was modeled and reproduced by density functional theory (DFT) calculations.  The core of each copper hydride nanoparticle comprises one central interstitial hydride and eight hydrides that cap the outer triangular faces. A further six truncating hydrides form an unprecedented bridge between the inner and outer copper atom arrays. The irregular inner Cu4 tetrahedron is encapsulated within the Cu24 rhombicuboctahedral cage, which is further enclosed by an array of twelve dithiocarbamate ligands that subtends the truncated octahedron of 24 sulfur atoms, which is concentric with the Cu24 rhombicuboctahedron and Cu4 tetrahedron about the innermost hydride. This Shape, within a shape is reminiscent of ancient Chinese puzzle balls.

Figure. Highlighted on the front cover (DOI:10.1002/anie.201405105)

Alison J. Edwards, Rajendra S. Dhayal, Ping-Kuei Liao, Jian-Hong Liao, Ming-Hsi Chiang,

Ross O. Piltz, Samia Kahlal, Jean-Yves Saillard, and C. W. Liu*

E-mail: chenwei@mail.ndhu.edu.tw

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