Recent Research Developments

Index of Recent Research News
June 7th, 2006
Adventures with Substances Containing Metals in Negative Oxidation States

    John E. Ellis

    A brief history of substances containing main group (s,p-block) and transition (d-block) metals in negative oxidation states or valencies has been published in the April 17 issue of Inorganic Chemistry, 2006, 45, 3167-3186. This paper is based on the address for the inaugural (2004) F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry presented at the 227th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, Anaheim, CA, on March 30, 2004. The “adventures” described in the article mainly involve the synthesis and characterization of coordination compounds containing d-block elements in formal negative oxidation states that my students and I have carried out over the past 35 years at the University of Minnesota. These included metal carbonyls containing transition metals in their lowest known oxidation states of -3 and -4, all of which were originally prepared in this Department, as well as exciting new aromatic hydrocarbon metalates, which often function as precursors in chemical reactions for atomic transition metal anions. One readily available compound of this type, tris(naphthalene)tantalum anion, is featured on the cover illustration for this particular issue of Inorganic Chemistry. Victor J. Sussman, an NSF predoctoral fellow in my group, created the illustration, which is largely based on his research activities, including the sealed ampule in the center containing a gorgeous microcrystalline sample of highly pyrophoric [Na(tetrahydrofuran)][Ta(naphthalene)3], the first aromatic hydrocarbon complex containing tantalum in a negative oxidation state.

* This page is updated every two weeks.
Next scheduled update: June 21st, 2006.
    The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

    Copyright 2006 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota.For questions or comments, contact the Chemistry Webmaster or read the University's Online Privacy Statement.