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Chemistry LibreTexts

3: Coordination Chemistry

  • Page ID
    226597
  • Coordination compounds are molecules that poses one or multiple metal centers that is bound to ligands (atoms, ions, or molecules that donate electrons to the metal). These complexes can be neutral or charged. When the complex is charged, it is stabilized by neighboring counter-ions. A complex ion has a metal ion at its center with a number of other molecules or ions surrounding it. These can be considered to be attached to the central ion by coordinate (dative covalent) bonds and in some cases, the bonding is actually more complicated than that. The molecules or ions surrounding the central metal ion are called ligands.

    • 3.1: History of Coordination Compounds
      Coordination compounds are a major feature of the chemistry of over half the elements. Coordination compounds have important roles as industrial catalysts in controlling reactivity, and they are essential in biochemical processes.
    • 3.2: Metal Complexes
      A complex ion has a metal ion at its center with a number of other molecules or ions surrounding it. These can be considered to be attached to the central ion by coordinate (dative covalent) bonds (in some cases, the bonding is actually more complicated than that. The molecules or ions surrounding the central metal ion are called ligands. Simple ligands include water, ammonia and chloride ions.
    • 3.3: Ligands with more than one Donor Atom
      Ligands can be further characterized as monodentate, bidentate, tridentate etc. where the concept of teeth (dent) is introduced. Monodentate ligands bind through only one donor atom. Monodentate means "one-toothed." The halides, phosphines, ammonia and amines seen previously are monodentate ligands. Bidentate ligands bind through two donor sites. Bidentate means "two-toothed." It can bind to a metal via two donor atoms at once.
    • 3.4: Nomenclature of Coordination Chemistry
      Coordination complexes have their own classes of isomers, different magnetic properties and colors, and various applications (photography, cancer treatment, etc), so it makes sense that they would have a naming system as well.
    • 3.5: Isomerization
      Two compounds that have the same formula and the same connectivity do not always have the same shape. There are two reasons why this may happen. In one case, the molecule may be flexible, so that it can twist into different shapes via rotation around individual sigma bonds. This phenomenon is called conformation, and it is covered in a different chapter. The second case occurs when two molecules appear to be connected the same way on paper, but are connected in two different ways in three dimens
    • 3.6: Enantiomers in Octahedral Complexes with Bidentate Ligands
      Enantiomers are another kind of isomer that occur in octahedral metal complexes. Like the square planar platinum complexes seen before, these compounds consist of metal ions with other atoms or groups bound to them. More information about the binding of ligands to metals is found in the section on Lewis acids and bases.
    • 3.7: Structural Isomers- Coordination Isomerism in Transition Metal Complexes
      Coordination isomerism occurs compounds containing complex anionic and cationic parts can be thought of as occurring by interchange of some ligands from the cationic part to the anionic part. Hence, there are two complex compounds bound together, one with a negative charge and the other with a positive charge. In coordination isomers, the anion and cation complexes of a coordination compound exchange one or more ligands.
    • 3.8: Structural Isomers- Ionization Isomerism in Transition Metal Complexes
      Ionization isomers are identical except for a ligand has exchanging places with an anion or neutral molecule that was originally outside the coordination complex. The central ion and the other ligands are identical. For example, an octahedral isomer will have five ligands that are identical, but the sixth will differ. The non-matching ligand in one compound will be outside of the coordination sphere of the other compound.
    • 3.9: Structural Isomers- Linkage Isomerism in Transition Metal Complexes
      Linkage isomerism occurs with ambidentate ligands that are capable of coordinating in more than one way. The best known cases involve the monodentate ligands: SCN- / NCS- and NO2- / ONO-. The only difference is what atoms the molecular ligands use to attach to the central ion.
    • 3.10: Color and Magnetism
      Crystal field theory, which assumes that metal–ligand interactions are only electrostatic in nature, explains many important properties of transition-metal complexes, including their colors, magnetism, structures, stability, and reactivity.