The coordination chemistry of saturated molecules
Our understanding of bonding in transition metal complexes, as well as our ability to use that understanding in the synthesis and application of new species, has evolved over the last 100 years; and in some sense this special feature on the coordination chemistry of saturated molecules may be considered to represent its culmination. The nature of complexes between transition metal ions and neutral molecules such as ammonia was first correctly described by Werner around the beginning of the 20th century. Interpretations in terms of electronic bonding theories followed soon after. The key feature, of course, is the availability of a low-energy filled "lone pair" orbital available for donation to a vacant orbital on the electron-accepting metal ion.
Additional Information© 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. Published online before print as 10.1073/pnas.0700902104.
Published - BERpnas07.pdf