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IUPAC name
Other names
Hexarhodium hexadecacarbonyl
28407-51-4 YesY
Molar mass 1065.62 g/mol
Appearance Black crystals
Melting point 235 °C (455 °F; 508 K)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Hexadecacarbonylhexarhodium is a metal carbonyl cluster with the formula Rh6(CO)16.[1] It exists as black crystals that are soluble in organic solvents.[2]

Discovery and synthesis[edit]

Rh6(CO)16 was first prepared by Heiber in 1943 by carbonylation of RhCl3·3H2O at 80-230 °C and 200 atm carbon monoxide with silver or copper as a halide acceptor. It was incorrectly formulated as Rh4(CO)11. Subsequently, the carbonylation of a mixture of anhydrous rhodium trichloride and iron pentacarbonyl was shown to give good yields of Rh6(CO)16. Other compounds of rhodium are also effective precursors such as Rh2Cl2(CO)4 and rhodium(II) acetate:[3]

3 Rh2(O2CCH3)4 + 22 CO + 6 H2O → Rh6(CO)16 + 6 CO2 + 12 CH3CO2H
3 Rh2Cl2(CO)4 + 4 CO + 6 Cu → Rh6(CO)16 + 6 CuCl

Reactions and applications[edit]

Rh6(CO)16 catalyzes a number of organic reactions including hydrogenation and hydroformylation.[2]


  1. ^ Eugene R. Corey; Lawrence F. Dahl; Wolfgang Beck (1963). "Rh6(CO)16 and its Identity with Previously Reported Rh4(CO)11". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 85 (8): 1202–1203. doi:10.1021/ja00891a040. 
  2. ^ a b Booth, B.L.; Else, M.J.; Fields, R.; Goldwhite, H.; Haszeldine, R.N. (1968). "Metal carbonyl chemistry IV. The preparation of cobalt and rhodium carbonyls by reductive carbonylation with pentacarbonyliron". Journal of Organometallic Chemistry. 14 (2): 417. doi:10.1016/S0022-328X(00)87682-2. 
  3. ^ B.R. James; G. L. Rempel; W.K. Teo (1976). "Hexadecacarbonylhexarhodium". Inorganic Syntheses. Inorganic Syntheses. 16 (49): 49. doi:10.1002/9780470132470.ch15. ISBN 9780470132470.