An efficient synthesis of remarkably stable 6-isocyanoazulene (CN6Az), the first nonbenzenoid organic isocyanide, is described. Its superb pi-accepting potential as a ligand was demonstrated through cyclic voltammetry studies on the binary complexes [Cr(CN6Az)6]0/+. The paramagnetic shift patterns for [Cr(CN6Az)6]+, the only azulenic pi-system studied by paramagnetic NMR, suggest that Cr(dpi) --> CN6Az(ppi*) electron delocalization involves both rings of the azulenyl substituents in [Cr(CN6Az)6]+. This conclusion is supported by density functional theory calculations on the complex [Cr(CN6Az)6][BF4].
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