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Sytematic Name: Pentacyclo[,5 03,8. 04,7]octane

CAS Number: 277-10-1

Since it's synthesis in 1964, cubane has been thought to have a novel, yet exceptional structure which, at first, defied chemical logic. This lead to many studies of its nature, resulting in the publication of the physical properties. A selection of which are shown below:

C-C Distance
  1.5727 ± 0.0019 Å
C-H Distance
  1.118 ± 0.008 Å
  Inert to light, water and air
  > 220 ºC
  1.29 g cm-3
Vapour Pressure
  1.1 mm (25 ºC)
Melting Point
  130 - 131 ºC
Boiling Point
  133 ºC
  18 wt % (hexane)
Heat of formation
  + 144 kcal mol-1
Strain Energy
  166 kcal mol-1

It can be seen that the average C-C bond length in cubane, is very similar to that of cyclobutane yet both the Heat of formation and the Strain Energy are much, much greater than those in similar compounds like octane (Heat of formation of Octane 50 kcal mol-1, Strain Energy of Octane 26 kcal mol-1). This illustrates the effect that the strained 90º bond angles have upon the system and why, therefore, it is so remarkable that cubane can even exist.