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Coordination Chemistry: Ligands

  1. Apr 15, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Describe, using sketches, how the following ligands can act as both σ-donors and π-acceptors:
    CN-
    P(CH3)3
    SCN-
    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    I suspect it has something to do with these ligands having lone pair electrons AND open π* orbitals.
    How correct is this and if it is wrong then what is the explanation?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2016 #2

    TeethWhitener

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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This is basically correct. Look up "pi-backbonding" for a good explanation. Bonus fact: Electron backdonation into antibonding orbitals turns out to be really important in catalysis where bond breaking is important.
     
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