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IUPAC name
Other names
Hexarhodium hexadecacarbonyl
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.044.539
EC Number
  • 249-009-3
Molar mass 1065.62 g/mol
Appearance Black crystals
Melting point 235 °C (455 °F; 508 K)
GHS pictograms GHS07: Harmful
GHS Signal word Warning
H302, H312, H332
P261, P264, P270, P271, P280, P301+312, P302+352, P304+312, P304+340, P312, P322, P330, P363, P501
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, and 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 [(CO)2Rh(μ-Cl)]2 and rhodium(II) acetate:[3]

3 Rh2(O2CCH3)4   +   22 CO   +   6 H2O   →   Rh6(CO)16   +   6 CO2   +   12 CH3COOH
3 [(CO)2RhCl]2   +   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. ^ Corey, Eugene R.; Dahl, Lawrence F.; Beck, Wolfgang (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". J. Organomet. Chem. 14 (2): 417–422. doi:10.1016/S0022-328X(00)87682-2.
  3. ^ James, B. R.; Rempel, G. L.; Teo, W. K. (1976). "Hexadecacarbonylhexarhodium". Inorg. Synth. 16: 49. doi:10.1002/9780470132470.ch15.