Density functional calculations predict that bis-(2,6-di-t-butyl)phenylnitrenium has a triplet ground stab and that the corresponding silylene has essentially degenerate singlet and triplet states. The steric bulk of the aryl ligand strongly destabilizes the singlets in each case relative to the triplets; the latter can more readily accommodate large valence angles at the nitrogen or silicon atom.
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Acknowledgments. Both CJC and DEF thank the NSF for funding and are grateful for high-performance vector and parallel computingr esources made available by the Minnesota SupercomputerI nstitute and the University of Minnesota-IBMS hared Re~ Project, respectively.
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