A metal organic compound refers to a compound containing at least one metal-carbon bond (M-C bond) in the molecule. They are a special kind of complex. Classic complexes contain organic ligands, but the organic ligands do not bond to the metal through carbon atoms, it through other non-metal atoms instead. This type of compounds should not be classified as metal organics.
Research history of metal organic compounds
In the history of mankind, the first metal-organic compound was Zeise salt. Due to the backwardness of analytical methods, the structure and properties of Zeise salt could not be identified. It is generally believed that the period from 1827 to 1950 was the "embryonic" period of metal organic chemistry.
In 1951, P. Pauson and S.A. Miller independently discovered ferrocene. In 1952, G. Willkinson measured the structure of ferrocene, which was a milestone in the development of metal organic chemistry. With the appearance and improvement of modern scientific instruments and analysis methods, many different types of metal-organic compounds have been prepared, separated and identified, and a variety of metal-organic compound reaction types have been discovered.
From the beginning of the mid 1970s to the present time, people's research have apparently shifted to the potential application of metal organic chemistry and the knowledge system of existing reaction chemistry. And people pay more attention to the mechanism of various types of reactions, the existing catalytic system and the design of a new catalytic system. The reactions of various coordination molecules are also under study, the purpose of which is to find valuable organic synthesis reagents and achieve chemical transformations related to chemical catalysis. Research papers on metal organic chemistry have grown dramatically and have gradually become an independent research area, so the research of metal organics have entered a period of “prosperity and development”.
General formula and designation of metal organic compound
The general formula of the metal organic compound can be expressed as: MnLm, wherein M represents a metal atom; L represents a ligand, it may be a neutral molecule, an anion, a cation, or a neutral species that is independently present as a free radical (e.g., , Methyl and phenyl radicals). L must be able to coordinate with the metal and there is at least one carbon coordinating atom. n represents the number of metal atoms, “n = 1” means that it is a mononuclear metal organic compound; “n = 2” means that it is a binuclear metal organic compound; “n> 2” means it is a multinuclear metal organic compound. When n>1, M can represent more than one metal atom. When m>1, L may also represent more than one ligand.
Metal organics are widely used as commercial catalysts for both homogeneous and stoichiometric reagents. Major industrial processes used metal organics as catalysts including hydrogenation, hydrosilylation, hydrocyanation, olefin metathesis, olefin polymerization, olefin oligomerization, hydrocarboxylation, methanol carbonylation and hydroformylation.