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

Coordination compounds

Metal-ligand bonds


Anders Nimmermark

Chalmers, Kemi- och bioteknik, Fysikalisk kemi

Lars Öhrström

Chalmers, Kemi- och bioteknik, Fysikalisk kemi

J. Reedijk

Leiden Institute of Chemistry

Zeitschfrift für Kristallographie

0044-2968 (ISSN)

Vol. 228 7 311-317

etal-Organic Frame-works, Porous Coordination Polymers and Zeolitesc
Stockholm, Sweden,


Oorganisk kemi



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