Preparation of coordination compounds

  • S. F. A. Kettle


This chapter reviews the most common methods by which coordination compounds are prepared. However, current research is almost invariably aimed at producing the unusual and exotic, not the common. So, a contemporary research journal would describe methods rather less simple than most of those covered here. A flavour of the current has therefore been included, although the reader is unlikely to meet some of the compounds outside the research laboratory. In the reactions described in this chapter, there are two important variables—coordination number and oxidation number (the latter is often called the valence state). In principle, either may increase, decrease or remain unchanged in a reaction, and the reader may find it helpful to classify the preparative methods described according to changes in these two numbers. In practice it is not always possible to be certain of either without more information than that contained within a chemical equation or chemical formula. A ligand which is potentially tridentate may, for example, act as a bidentate ligand and so the coordination number differs from that expected. Similarly, is the complex ion [Co(NH3)5NO]2+ a complex of cobalt(II) or one of cobalt(III)? It depends on whether you believe that the NO is better represented as NO˙ (where, in the complex, the odd electron is paired with a cobalt electron) or as NO-. This problem of formal valence states will reappear later in this chapter and again in Chapter 6.


Coordination Compound Substitution Reaction Preparative Method Trans Effect Triflic Acid 
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Further reading


  1. D. M. Adams and J.B. Raynor, Advanced Practical Inorganic Chemistry, Wiley, London, 1965.Google Scholar
  2. G. Pass and H. Sutcliffe, Practical Inorganic Chemistry, Chapman and Hall, London, 1974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. R. J. Angelici, Synthesis and Technique in Inorganic Chemistry, Saunders, Philadelphia, 1977.Google Scholar


  1. Reactions of Coordinated Ligands (2 volumes), P. S. Brater-man (ed.), Plenum, New York, 1987.Google Scholar
  2. E. C. Constable, Metals and Ligand Reactivity, E. Horwood, New York, 1990.Google Scholar
  3. F. Basolo and R. G. Pearson, `The trans effect in Metal Complexes’, Prog. Inorg. Chem. (1962) 4, 381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. J. R. Blackborow and D. Young, Metal Vapour Synthesis in Organometallic Chemistry, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. A. Rabenau, `The Role of Hydrothermal Synthesis in Prepar- ative Chemistry’, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. (1985) 24, 1026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© S. F. A. Kettle 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. F. A. Kettle
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of East AngliaUK
  2. 2.Royal Military CollegeKingstonCanada

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