Metal-ligand bond lengths and strengths: are they correlated? A detailed CSD analysis
Journal article, 2013

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 angstrom 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".

Bond length

Bond strength

Metal-ligand bonds


Coordination compounds


Anders Nimmermark

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Physical Chemistry

Lars Öhrström

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Physical Chemistry

J. Reedijk

Leiden Institute of Chemistry

Zeitschfrift für Kristallographie

0044-2968 (ISSN)

Vol. 228 7 311-317

Subject Categories

Inorganic Chemistry



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