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Zeitschrift für Kristallographie - Crystalline Materials

Editor-in-Chief: Pöttgen, Rainer

Ed. by Antipov, Evgeny / Boldyreva, Elena V. / Friese, Karen / Huppertz, Hubert / Jahn, Sandro / Tiekink, E. R. T.

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Volume 228, Issue 7


Metal-ligand bond lengths and strengths: are they correlated? A detailed CSD analysis

Anders Nimmermark
  • Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Gothenburg, Schweden
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Lars Öhrström / Jan Reedijk


Structure data on metal-alkoxides, metal-alcohol, metal-carboxylates, metal-carboxylic acid, metal-azolate and metal-azole coordination compounds from the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) were analysed in terms of bond lengths. In general the anionic ligands form shorter metal-ligand bonds by about 0.02–0.05 Å compared to neutral ligands, a clear indication of a charge contribution to the bonding interactions. This small difference is not, however, deemed as sufficient to generate two distinct classes of metal-ligand bonding. Instead, the anionic ligands can be viewed as having “charge assisted” metal-ligand bonding, corresponding to the same term used for “charge-assisted hydrogen bonding”.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: ; Bond strength; Bond length; MOF; Coordination compounds

About the article

* Correspondence address: Chalmers University of Technology, Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Physical Chemistry, 41296 Göteborg, Schweden,

Published in Print: 2013-07-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Kristallographie - Crystalline Materials, Volume 228, Issue 7, Pages 311–317, ISSN (Print) 2194-4946, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/zkri.2013.1605.

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