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Pure and Applied Chemistry

The Scientific Journal of IUPAC

Ed. by Burrows, Hugh / Weir, Ron / Stohner, Jürgen

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Nomenclature of Organometallic Compounds of the Transition Elements (IUPAC Recommendations 1999)

A. Salzer

Citation Information: Pure and Applied Chemistry. Volume 71, Issue 8, Pages 1557–1585, ISSN (Online) 1365-3075, ISSN (Print) 0033-4545, DOI: 10.1351/pac199971081557, January 2009

Publication History

Published Online:

Organometallic compounds are defined as containing at least one metal-carbon bond between an organic molecule, ion, or radical and a metal. Organometallic nomenclature therefore usually combines the nomenclature of organic chemisty and that of coordination chemistry. Provisional rules outlining nomenclature for such compounds are found both in Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry, 1979 and in Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry, 1990

This document describes the nomenclature for organometallic compounds of the transition elements, that is compounds with metal-carbon single bonds, metal-carbon multiple bonds as well as complexes with unsaturated molecules (metal-p-complexes).

Organometallic compounds are considered to be produced by addition reactions and so they are named on an addition principle. The name therefore is built around the central metal atom name. Organic ligand names are derived according to the rules of organic chemistry with appropriate endings to indicate the different bonding modes. To designate the points of attachment of ligands in more complicated structures, the h, k, and m-notations are used. The final section deals with the abbreviated nomenclature for metallocenes and their derivatives.


  • Introduction

  • Systems of Nomenclature

    • 2.1 Binary type nomenclature

    • 2.2 Substitutive nomenlcature

    • 2.3 Coordination nomenclature

  • Coordination Nomenclature

    • 3.1 General definitions of coordination chemistry

    • 3.2 Oxidation numbers and net charges

    • 3.3 Formulae and names for coordination compounds

  • Nomenclature for Organometallic Compounds of Transition Metals

    • 4.1 Valence-electron-numbers and the 18-valence-electron-rule

    • 4.2 Ligand names

      • 4.2.1 Ligands coordinating by one metal-carbon single bond

      • 4.2.2 Ligands coordinating by several metal-carbon single bonds

      • 4.2.3 Ligands coordinating by metal-carbon multiple bonds

      • 4.2.4 Complexes with unsaturated molecules or groups

    • 4.3 Metallocene nomenclature

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