Inorganic chemistry deals with synthesis and behavior of inorganic and organometallic compounds. This field covers chemical compounds that are not carbon-based, which are the subjects of organic chemistry. The distinction between the two disciplines is far from absolute, as there is much overlap in the subdiscipline of organometallic chemistry. It has applications in every aspect of the chemical industry, including catalysis, materials science, pigments, surfactants, coatings, medications, fuels, and agriculture.
Inorganic compounds are found in nature as minerals.Soil may contain iron sulfide as pyrite or calcium sulfate as gypsum. Inorganic compounds are also found multitasking as biomolecules: as electrolytes (sodium chloride), in energy storage (ATP) or in construction (the polyphosphate backbone in DNA).
Inorganic compounds exhibit a range of bonding properties. Some are ionic compounds, consisting of very simple cations and anions joined by ionic bonding. Examples of salts (which are ionic compounds) are magnesium chloride MgCl2, which consists of magnesium cations Mg2+ and chloride anions Cl−; or sodium hydroxide NaOH, which consists of sodium cations Na+ and hydroxide anions OH−. Some inorganic compounds are highly covalent, such as sulfur dioxide and iron pentacarbonyl. Many inorganic compounds feature polar covalent bonding, which is a form of bonding intermediate between covalent and ionic bonding. This description applies to many oxides, carbonates, and halides. Many inorganic compounds are characterized by high melting points. Some salts (e.g., NaCl) are very soluble in water.
When one reactant contains hydrogen atoms, a reaction can take place by exchanging protons in acid-base chemistry. In a more general definition, any chemical species capable of binding to electron pairs is called a Lewis acid; conversely any molecule that tends to donate an electron pair is referred to as a Lewis base.As a refinement of acid-base interactions, the HSAB theory takes into account polarizability and size of ions.
Subdivisions of inorganic chemistry are numerous, but include:
Inorganic chemistry is a highly practical area of science. Traditionally, the scale of a nation's economy could be evaluated by their productivity of sulfuric acid.
An important man-made inorganic compound is ammonium nitrate, used for fertilization. The ammonia is produced through the Haber process. [ citation needed ]Nitric acid is prepared from the ammonia by oxidation. Another large-scale inorganic material is portland cement. Inorganic compounds are used as catalysts such as vanadium(V) oxide for the oxidation of sulfur dioxide and titanium(III) chloride for the polymerization of alkenes. Many inorganic compounds are used as reagents in organic chemistry such as lithium aluminium hydride.
Descriptive inorganic chemistry focuses on the classification of compounds based on their properties. Partly the classification focuses on the position in the periodic table of the heaviest element (the element with the highest atomic weight) in the compound, partly by grouping compounds by their structural similarities
Classical coordination compounds feature metals bound to "lone pairs" of electrons residing on the main group atoms of ligands such as H2O, NH3, Cl−, and CN−. In modern coordination compounds almost all organic and inorganic compounds can be used as ligands. The "metal" usually is a metal from the groups 3–13, as well as the trans-lanthanides and trans-actinides, but from a certain perspective, all chemical compounds can be described as coordination complexes.
The stereochemistry of coordination complexes can be quite rich, as hinted at by Werner's separation of two enantiomers of [Co((OH)2Co(NH3)4)3]6+, an early demonstration that chirality is not inherent to organic compounds. A topical theme within this specialization is supramolecular coordination chemistry.
Coordination compounds show a rich diversity of structures, varying from tetrahedral for titanium (e.g., TiCl4) to square planar for some nickel complexes to octahedral for coordination complexes of cobalt. A range of transition metals can be found in biologically important compounds, such as iron in hemoglobin.
These species feature elements from groups I, II, III, IV, V,VI, VII, 0 (excluding hydrogen) of the periodic table. Due to their often similar reactivity, the elements in group 3 (Sc, Y, and La) and group 12 (Zn, Cd, and Hg) are also generally included, and the lanthanides and actinides are sometimes included as well.
Main group compounds have been known since the beginnings of chemistry, e.g., elemental sulfur and the distillable white phosphorus. Experiments on oxygen, O2, by Lavoisier and Priestley not only identified an important diatomic gas, but opened the way for describing compounds and reactions according to stoichiometric ratios. The discovery of a practical synthesis of ammonia using iron catalysts by Carl Bosch and Fritz Haber in the early 1900s deeply impacted mankind, demonstrating the significance of inorganic chemical synthesis. Typical main group compounds are SiO2, SnCl4, and N2O. Many main group compounds can also be classed as "organometallic", as they contain organic groups, e.g., B(CH3)3). Main group compounds also occur in nature, e.g., phosphate in DNA, and therefore may be classed as bioinorganic. Conversely, organic compounds lacking (many) hydrogen ligands can be classed as "inorganic", such as the fullerenes, buckytubes and binary carbon oxides.
Noble gas compounds include several derivatives of xenon and krypton.
Usually, organometallic compounds are considered to contain the M-C-H group.The metal (M) in these species can either be a main group element or a transition metal. Operationally, the definition of an organometallic compound is more relaxed to include also highly lipophilic complexes such as metal carbonyls and even metal alkoxides.
Organometallic compounds are mainly considered a special category because organic ligands are often sensitive to hydrolysis or oxidation, necessitating that organometallic chemistry employs more specialized preparative methods than was traditional in Werner-type complexes. Synthetic methodology, especially the ability to manipulate complexes in solvents of low coordinating power, enabled the exploration of very weakly coordinating ligands such as hydrocarbons, H2, and N2. Because the ligands are petrochemicals in some sense, the area of organometallic chemistry has greatly benefited from its relevance to industry.
Clusters can be found in all classes of chemical compounds. According to the commonly accepted definition, a cluster consists minimally of a triangular set of atoms that are directly bonded to each other. But metal-metal bonded dimetallic complexes are highly relevant to the area. Clusters occur in "pure" inorganic systems, organometallic chemistry, main group chemistry, and bioinorganic chemistry. The distinction between very large clusters and bulk solids is increasingly blurred. This interface is the chemical basis of nanoscience or nanotechnology and specifically arise from the study of quantum size effects in cadmium selenide clusters. Thus, large clusters can be described as an array of bound atoms intermediate in character between a molecule and a solid.
By definition, these compounds occur in nature, but the subfield includes anthropogenic species, such as pollutants (e.g., methylmercury) and drugs (e.g., Cisplatin).The field, which incorporates many aspects of biochemistry, includes many kinds of compounds, e.g., the phosphates in DNA, and also metal complexes containing ligands that range from biological macromolecules, commonly peptides, to ill-defined species such as humic acid, and to water (e.g., coordinated to gadolinium complexes employed for MRI). Traditionally bioinorganic chemistry focuses on electron- and energy-transfer in proteins relevant to respiration. Medicinal inorganic chemistry includes the study of both non-essential and essential elements with applications to diagnosis and therapies.
This important area focuses on structure,bonding, and the physical properties of materials. In practice, solid state inorganic chemistry uses techniques such as crystallography to gain an understanding of the properties that result from collective interactions between the subunits of the solid. Included in solid state chemistry are metals and their alloys or intermetallic derivatives. Related fields are condensed matter physics, mineralogy, and materials science.
In contrast to most organic compoundd, many inorganic compounds are magnetic and/or colored. These properties provide information on the bonding and structure. The magnetism of inorganic compounds can be comlex.For example, most copper(II) compounds are paramagnetic but CuII2(OAc)4(H2O)2 is almost diamagnetic below room temperature. The explanation is due to magnetic coupling between pairs of Cu(II) sites in the acetate.
Inorganic chemistry has greatly benefited from qualitative theories. Such theories are easier to learn as they require little background in quantum theory. Within main group compounds, VSEPR theory powerfully predicts, or at least rationalizes, the structures of main group compounds, such as an explanation for why NH3 is pyramidal whereas ClF3 is T-shaped. For the transition metals, crystal field theory allows one to understand the magnetism of many simple complexes, such as why [FeIII(CN)6]3− has only one unpaired electron, whereas [FeIII(H2O)6]3+ has five. A particularly powerful qualitative approach to assessing the structure and reactivity begins with classifying molecules according to electron counting, focusing on the numbers of valence electrons, usually at the central atom in a molecule.[ citation needed ]
A construct in chemistry is molecular symmetry, as embodied in Group theory. Inorganic compounds display a particularly diverse symmetries, so it is logical that Group Theory is intimately associated with inorganic chemistry.Group theory]provides the language to describe the shapes of molecules according to their point group symmetry. Group theory also enables factoring and simplification of theoretical calculations.
Spectroscopic features are analyzed and described with respect to the symmetry properties of the, inter alia, vibrational or electronic states. Knowledge of the symmetry properties of the ground and excited states allows one to predict the numbers and intensities of absorptions in vibrational and electronic spectra. A classic application of group theory is the prediction of the number of C-O vibrations in substituted metal carbonyl complexes. The most common applications of symmetry to spectroscopy involve vibrational and electronic spectra.
Group theory highlights commonalities and differences in the bonding of otherwise disparate species. For example, the metal-based orbitals transform identically for WF6 and W(CO)6, but the energies and populations of these orbitals differ significantly. A similar relationship exists CO2 and molecular beryllium difluoride.
An alternative quantitative approach to inorganic chemistry focuses on energies of reactions. This approach is highly traditional and empirical, but it is also useful. Broad concepts that are couched in thermodynamic terms include redox potential, acidity, phase changes. A classic concept in inorganic thermodynamics is the Born–Haber cycle, which is used for assessing the energies of elementary processes such as electron affinity, some of which cannot be observed directly.
An important aspect of inorganic chemistry focuses on reaction pathways, i.e. reaction mechanisms.
The mechanisms of main group compounds of groups 13-18 are usually discussed in the context of organic chemistry (organic compounds are main group compounds, after all). Elements heavier than C, N, O, and F often form compounds with more electrons than predicted by the octet rule, as explained in the article on hypervalent molecules. The mechanisms of their reactions differ from organic compounds for this reason. Elements lighter than carbon (B, Be, Li) as well as Al and Mg often form electron-deficient structures that are electronically akin to carbocations. Such electron-deficient species tend to react via associative pathways. The chemistry of the lanthanides mirrors many aspects of chemistry seen for aluminium.
Transition metal and main group compounds often react differently.The important role of d-orbitals in bonding strongly influences the pathways and rates of ligand substitution and dissociation. These themes are covered in articles on coordination chemistry and ligand. Both associative and dissociative pathways are observed.
An overarching aspect of mechanistic transition metal chemistry is the kinetic lability of the complex illustrated by the exchange of free and bound water in the prototypical complexes [M(H2O)6]n+:
The rates of water exchange varies by 20 orders of magnitude across the periodic table, with lanthanide complexes at one extreme and Ir(III) species being the slowest.
Redox reactions are prevalent for the transition elements. Two classes of redox reaction are considered: atom-transfer reactions, such as oxidative addition/reductive elimination, and electron-transfer. A fundamental redox reaction is "self-exchange", which involves the degenerate reaction between an oxidant and a reductant. For example, permanganate and its one-electron reduced relative manganate exchange one electron:
Coordinated ligands display reactivity distinct from the free ligands. For example, the acidity of the ammonia ligands in [Co(NH3)6]3+ is elevated relative to NH3 itself. Alkenes bound to metal cations are reactive toward nucleophiles whereas alkenes normally are not. The large and industrially important area of catalysis hinges on the ability of metals to modify the reactivity of organic ligands. Homogeneous catalysis occurs in solution and heterogeneous catalysis occurs when gaseous or dissolved substrates interact with surfaces of solids. Traditionally homogeneous catalysis is considered part of organometallic chemistry and heterogeneous catalysis is discussed in the context of surface science, a subfield of solid state chemistry. But the basic inorganic chemical principles are the same. Transition metals, almost uniquely, react with small molecules such as CO, H2, O2, and C2H4. The industrial significance of these feedstocks drives the active area of catalysis. Ligands can also undergo ligand transfer reactions such as transmetalation.
Because of the diverse range of elements and the correspondingly diverse properties of the resulting derivatives, inorganic chemistry is closely associated with many methods of analysis. Older methods tended to examine bulk properties such as the electrical conductivity of solutions, melting points, solubility, and acidity. With the advent of quantum theory and the corresponding expansion of electronic apparatus, new tools have been introduced to probe the electronic properties of inorganic molecules and solids. Often these measurements provide insights relevant to theoretical models. Commonly encountered techniques are:
Although some inorganic species can be obtained in pure form from nature, most are synthesized in chemical plants and in the laboratory.
Inorganic synthetic methods can be classified roughly according to the volatility or solubility of the component reactants. mm Hg or less. Compounds are condensed using liquid nitrogen (b.p. 78K) or other cryogens. Solids are typically prepared using tube furnaces, the reactants and products being sealed in containers, often made of fused silica (amorphous SiO2) but sometimes more specialized materials such as welded Ta tubes or Pt "boats". Products and reactants are transported between temperature zones to drive reactions.Soluble inorganic compounds are prepared using methods of organic synthesis. For metal-containing compounds that are reactive toward air, Schlenk line and glove box techniques are followed. Volatile compounds and gases are manipulated in "vacuum manifolds" consisting of glass piping interconnected through valves, the entirety of which can be evacuated to 0.001
A coordination complex is a chemical compound consisting of a central atom or ion, which is usually metallic and is called the coordination centre, and a surrounding array of bound molecules or ions, that are in turn known as ligands or complexing agents. Many metal-containing compounds, especially those that include transition metals, are coordination complexes.
In coordination chemistry, a ligand is an ion or molecule with a functional group that binds to a central metal atom to form a coordination complex. The bonding with the metal generally involves formal donation of one or more of the ligand's electron pairs, often through Lewis bases. The nature of metal–ligand bonding can range from covalent to ionic. Furthermore, the metal–ligand bond order can range from one to three. Ligands are viewed as Lewis bases, although rare cases are known to involve Lewis acidic "ligands".
A metallocene is a compound typically consisting of two cyclopentadienyl anions (C
5, abbreviated Cp) bound to a metal center (M) in the oxidation state II, with the resulting general formula (C5H5)2M. Closely related to the metallocenes are the metallocene derivatives, e.g. titanocene dichloride or vanadocene dichloride. Certain metallocenes and their derivatives exhibit catalytic properties, although metallocenes are rarely used industrially. Cationic group 4 metallocene derivatives related to [Cp2ZrCH3]+ catalyze olefin polymerization.
Organometallic chemistry is the study of organometallic compounds, chemical compounds containing at least one chemical bond between a carbon atom of an organic molecule and a metal, including alkali, alkaline earth, and transition metals, and sometimes broadened to include metalloids like boron, silicon, and selenium, as well. Aside from bonds to organyl fragments or molecules, bonds to 'inorganic' carbon, like carbon monoxide, cyanide, or carbide, are generally considered to be organometallic as well. Some related compounds such as transition metal hydrides and metal phosphine complexes are often included in discussions of organometallic compounds, though strictly speaking, they are not necessarily organometallic. The related but distinct term "metalorganic compound" refers to metal-containing compounds lacking direct metal-carbon bonds but which contain organic ligands. Metal β-diketonates, alkoxides, dialkylamides, and metal phosphine complexes are representative members of this class. The field of organometallic chemistry combines aspects of traditional inorganic and organic chemistry.
A Lewis acid (named for the American physical chemist Gilbert N. Lewis) is a chemical species that contains an empty orbital which is capable of accepting an electron pair from a Lewis base to form a Lewis adduct. A Lewis base, then, is any species that has a filled orbital containing an electron pair which is not involved in bonding but may form a dative bond with a Lewis acid to form a Lewis adduct. For example, NH3 is a Lewis base, because it can donate its lone pair of electrons. Trimethylborane () is a Lewis acid as it is capable of accepting a lone pair. In a Lewis adduct, the Lewis acid and base share an electron pair furnished by the Lewis base, forming a dative bond. In the context of a specific chemical reaction between NH3 and Me3B, a lone pair from NH3 will form a dative bond with the empty orbital of Me3B to form an adduct NH3•BMe3. The terminology refers to the contributions of Gilbert N. Lewis.
Oxidative addition and reductive elimination are two important and related classes of reactions in organometallic chemistry. Oxidative addition is a process that increases both the oxidation state and coordination number of a metal centre. Oxidative addition is often a step in catalytic cycles, in conjunction with its reverse reaction, reductive elimination.
In chemistry, octahedral molecular geometry, also called square bipyramidal, describes the shape of compounds with six atoms or groups of atoms or ligands symmetrically arranged around a central atom, defining the vertices of an octahedron. The octahedron has eight faces, hence the prefix octa. The octahedron is one of the Platonic solids, although octahedral molecules typically have an atom in their centre and no bonds between the ligand atoms. A perfect octahedron belongs to the point group Oh. Examples of octahedral compounds are sulfur hexafluoride SF6 and molybdenum hexacarbonyl Mo(CO)6. The term "octahedral" is used somewhat loosely by chemists, focusing on the geometry of the bonds to the central atom and not considering differences among the ligands themselves. For example, [Co(NH3)6]3+, which is not octahedral in the mathematical sense due to the orientation of the N−H bonds, is referred to as octahedral.
Metal carbonyls are coordination complexes of transition metals with carbon monoxide ligands. Metal carbonyls are useful in organic synthesis and as catalysts or catalyst precursors in homogeneous catalysis, such as hydroformylation and Reppe chemistry. In the Mond process, nickel tetracarbonyl is used to produce pure nickel. In organometallic chemistry, metal carbonyls serve as precursors for the preparation of other organometallic complexes.
In coordination chemistry, the first coordination sphere refers to the array of molecules and ions directly attached to the central metal atom. The second coordination sphere consists of molecules and ions that attached in various ways to the first coordination sphere.
In coordination chemistry, hapticity is the coordination of a ligand to a metal center via an uninterrupted and contiguous series of atoms. The hapticity of a ligand is described with the Greek letter η ('eta'). For example, η2 describes a ligand that coordinates through 2 contiguous atoms. In general the η-notation only applies when multiple atoms are coordinated. In addition, if the ligand coordinates through multiple atoms that are not contiguous then this is considered denticity, and the κ-notation is used once again. When naming complexes care should be taken not to confuse η with μ ('mu'), which relates to bridging ligands.
The 18-electron rule is a chemical rule of thumb used primarily for predicting and rationalizing formulas for stable transition metal complexes, especially organometallic compounds. The rule is based on the fact that the valence orbitals in the electron configuration of transition metals consist of five (n−1)d orbitals, one ns orbital, and three np orbitals, where n is the principal quantum number. These orbitals can collectively accommodate 18 electrons as either bonding or non-bonding electron pairs. This means that the combination of these nine atomic orbitals with ligand orbitals creates nine molecular orbitals that are either metal-ligand bonding or non-bonding. When a metal complex has 18 valence electrons, it is said to have achieved the same electron configuration as the noble gas in the period, lending stability to the complex. Transition metal complexes that deviate from the rule are often interesting or useful because they tend to be more reactive. The rule is not helpful for complexes of metals that are not transition metals. The rule was first proposed by American chemist Irving Langmuir in 1921.
Metal nitrosyl complexes are complexes that contain nitric oxide, NO, bonded to a transition metal. Many kinds of nitrosyl complexes are known, which vary both in structure and coligand.
In chemistry, π-effects or π-interactions are a type of non-covalent interaction that involves π systems. Just like in an electrostatic interaction where a region of negative charge interacts with a positive charge, the electron-rich π system can interact with a metal, an anion, another molecule and even another π system. Non-covalent interactions involving π systems are pivotal to biological events such as protein-ligand recognition.
Associative substitution describes a pathway by which compounds interchange ligands. The terminology is typically applied to organometallic and coordination complexes, but resembles the Sn2 mechanism in organic chemistry. The opposite pathway is dissociative substitution, being analogous to the Sn1 pathway. Intermediate pathways exist between the pure associative and pure dissociative pathways, these are called interchange mechanisms.
Dioxygen complexes are coordination compounds that contain O2 as a ligand. The study of these compounds is inspired by oxygen-carrying proteins such as myoglobin, hemoglobin, hemerythrin, and hemocyanin. Several transition metals form complexes with O2, and many of these complexes form reversibly. The binding of O2 is the first step in many important phenomena, such as cellular respiration, corrosion, and industrial chemistry. The first synthetic oxygen complex was demonstrated in 1938 with cobalt(II) complex reversibly bound O2.
Rhodocene is a chemical compound with the formula [Rh(C5H5)2]. Each molecule contains an atom of rhodium bound between two planar aromatic systems of five carbon atoms known as cyclopentadienyl rings in a sandwich arrangement. It is an organometallic compound as it has (haptic) covalent rhodium–carbon bonds. The [Rh(C5H5)2] radical is found above 150 °C (302 °F) or when trapped by cooling to liquid nitrogen temperatures (−196 °C [−321 °F]). At room temperature, pairs of these radicals join via their cyclopentadienyl rings to form a dimer, a yellow solid.
Metal halides are compounds between metals and halogens. Some, such as sodium chloride are ionic, while others are covalently bonded. A few metal halides are discrete molecules, such as uranium hexafluoride, but most adopt polymeric structures, such as palladium chloride.
A metal-phosphine complex is a coordination complex containing one or more phosphine ligands. Almost always, the phosphine is an organophosphine of the type R3P (R = alkyl, aryl). Metal phosphine complexes are useful in homogeneous catalysis. Prominent examples of metal phosphine complexes include Wilkinson's catalyst (Rh(PPh3)3Cl), Grubbs' catalyst, and tetrakis(triphenylphosphine)palladium(0).
The covalent bond classification (CBC) method, also referred to as LXZ notation, is a way of describing covalent compounds such as organometallic complexes in a way that is not prone to limitations resulting from the definition of oxidation state. Instead of simply assigning a charge to an atom in the molecule, the covalent bond classification method analyzes the nature of the ligands surrounding the atom of interest. According to this method, the interactions that allow for coordination of the ligand can be classified according to whether it donates two, one, or zero electrons. These three classes of ligands are respectively given the symbols L, X, and Z. The method was published by Malcolm L. H. Green in 1995.
Armando José Latourrette de Oliveira Pombeiro is a Portuguese chemical engineer.