2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

Synthesis of Cubane 

Megan G. Perkins
Dr. Tim Humphry, Faculty Mentor

Cubic carbon-based molecules used to only exist in theory until 1964 when Dr. Phillip Eaton first synthesized cubane. Scientists believed that due to the 90-degree bonding angle the carbon atoms required, the molecule would be highly unstable if ever successfully created. Dr. Eaton discovered that cubane was actually very stable due to the lack of decomposition paths easily available. Because of the strain of the bond angels, cubane compounds are highly reactive and can be used for things like high-energy fuels and explosives. In this research experiment, the procedure consists of a list of steps using the starting material cyclopentanone to take the dimethyl ester to a half-ester acid, then to cubane monocarboxylic acid, then to cubane as proposed in Dr. Eaton’s paper. This research is conducted by altering the reaction conditions to see if the production of cubane can be done consistently and concisely.


Keywords: cubane , hydrocarbon , carbon , cylclopentanone


Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 206-5
Location: MG 1000
Time: 11:15

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