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Reviews in Inorganic Chemistry

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Isomers in the chemistry of iron carbonyls

1 / Jindra Valentová2 / Ferdinand Devínsky2

1Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Slovak Technical University, Radlinskeho 9, 812 37 Bratislava, Slovak Republic

2Department of Chemical Theory of Drugs, Faculty of Pharmacy, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Corresponding author

Citation Information: Reviews in Inorganic Chemistry. Volume 31, Issue 1, Pages 57–82, ISSN (Online) 2191-0227, ISSN (Print) 0193-4929, DOI: 10.1515/revic.2011.002, April 2011

Publication History

Published Online:


The chemistry of iron carbonyls covers wide fields, as shown by a survey covering the crystallographic and structural data of over 560 examples; approximately 10.5% of those examples exist as isomers and are summarized in this paper. Included are distortion (96.7%) and cis-trans (3.3%) isomerism. These are discussed in terms of coordination about iron atom, bond length and interbond angles. Distortion isomers differ only by degree of distortion in Fe-L bond distances and L-Fe-L bond angles, which are the most common. There are iron atoms in the oxidation states, zero, +2 and +3 and cis-trans isomerism (zero only). The iron atoms are two (bent), four (mostly tetrahedral), five (mostly trigonal-bipyramid) and a pseudo-octahedral coordinated with different degree of distortion.

Keywords: carbonyl; iron; isomers; structure

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