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Mixed Donor Ligands

  1. Geoffrey A. Lawrance

Published Online: 15 MAR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia142

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Lawrance, G. A. 2006. Mixed Donor Ligands . Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2006


Mixed donor ligands are extremely common and are linear, branched, or cyclic molecules that contain at least two different donor groups capable of chelation to metal ions by those groups as polydentate ligands. The most common donor atoms met are N, O, S, and P, although other donors such as group 14 elements (including C) are known. Whereas mixed donor ligands are considered classically to involve groups with different donor atoms (such as N from an amine and O from a carboxylate), different classes of donor groups of one type of donor atom (such as pyridine and amine groups) also effectively produce mixed donor ligands. The coordination chemistry of mixed donor ligands is very extensive; all metal ions form mixed donor complexes, and the number of isomers possible for complexes with mixed donors is usually greater than with symmetrical ligands of comparable denticity.


  • ligand;
  • mixed donor;
  • N-donor;
  • O-donor;
  • S-donor;
  • P-donor;
  • heteroatom donor;
  • chelate;
  • polydentate;
  • metal complexes