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Cobalt: Inorganic & Coordination Chemistry

  1. Allan G. Blackman

Published Online: 15 MAR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia046

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Blackman, A. G. 2006. Cobalt: Inorganic & Coordination Chemistry . Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2006


This article provides a summary of the important and interesting aspects of the inorganic and coordination chemistry of cobalt. A brief history of the element, detailing its discovery and historical uses, is given, and some general information concerning the properties of elemental cobalt is detailed. The general chemistry of cobalt is then outlined, including an overview of the common oxidation states found in inorganic compounds and complexes, a discussion of the stereochemistry, spectra and magnetism of cobalt complexes, and an outline of some analytical methods used for cobalt. The inorganic chemistry of simple cobalt salts is then described, and the coordination chemistry of cobalt, which constitutes the majority of the article, is then outlined in some detail. Coordination complexes of cobalt are detailed according to the oxidation state of the metal ion, with complexes ranging from Co(−I) to Co(V) discussed. Brief descriptions of the chemistry of each oxidation state are given, and specific examples are then outlined according to the nature of the ligand donor atom(s), with extensive references to both the primary literature and to review articles given. Thus, Co(I), Co(0), and Co(−I) complexes containing aliphatic, aromatic, and macrocyclic amine ligands, as well as Schiff-base, porphyrin, and P-donor ligands are discussed, while Co(II) complexes of carboxylate, heterocyclic, and oxygen-derived ligands are summarized. Co(III) ammine and amine complexes are described in detail, while Co(III) complexes containing O-donor ligands are also discussed. The few known Co(IV) and Co(V) complexes are outlined.


  • cobalt;
  • inorganic chemistry;
  • coordination chemistry;
  • Werner complexes;
  • oxidation state;
  • ligands