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Mechanisms of Reaction of Organometallic Complexes

  1. Jim D. Atwood1,
  2. Edward Rosenberg2

Published Online: 15 MAR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia130

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Atwood, J. D. and Rosenberg, E. 2006. Mechanisms of Reaction of Organometallic Complexes. Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA

  2. 2

    University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2006


An overview of the mechanistic features of organometallic reactions is presented. The primary mechanistic types discussed are ligand substitution, oxidative addition, reductive elimination, and electron transfer. Each reaction pathway is discussed within the context of the common electron counts encountered for most organometallic complexes. Examples of how these common reaction pathways extend to polynuclear complexes are also presented. Although reasonable generalizations with regard to overall reaction rates and stepwise mechanisms using the electron count formalism can be made, many recent reports point out that the details of ligand and metal center structure can override these general trends. A considerable amount of quantitative rate data is provided and computational methodologies for understanding the observed rates are discussed.


  • organometallic complexes;
  • reaction mechanisms;
  • ligand substitution;
  • oxidative addition;
  • electron transfer;
  • reaction rates;
  • carbonyl complexes;
  • transition metals