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Nickel: Organometallic Chemistry

  1. Davit Zargarian

Published Online: 15 MAR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia152

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Zargarian, D. 2006. Nickel: Organometallic Chemistry . Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2006


The organometallic chemistry of nickel has experienced rapid growth over the past decade. A number of exciting new areas have emerged, such as the reactivities of Ni(0)-carbene complexes and the polymerization of olefins catalyzed by nickel complexes of nitrogen-based ligands. In addition, the traditionally rich area of Ni-catalyzed organic transformations has undergone major developments that have expanded the scope of their applications. These are the subjects of the present chapter.

Among the topics that will be discussed are the preparation, characterization, and reactivity studies of nickel complexes of allyl, cyclopentadienly, indenyl, and tris(pyrazolyl)borate ligands. The main structural and bonding properties of these complexes are presented and their major reactivities are outlined. Another topic of importance is the chemistry of the nickel complexes of hydride, alkyl, alkenyl, and silyl ligands. Hydrido and alkyl complexes of nickel are often involved in many catalytic processes of commercial importance, and so an in-depth understanding of the fundamental reactivities of these complexes is crucial to expanding their practical applications. Silyl complexes are involved in the transformations of organosilicon compounds, and for this reason their basic reactivities and structural properties are of interest.

Zerovalent nickel complexes are also very important in the catalytic organic transformations. One of the most exciting developments in this area is the recent introduction of N-heterocyclic carbene ligands. Ni complexes of these ligands have been shown to be important catalysts and reagents for a number of important organic transformations. Some of the practical methods for preparing Ni-carbene complexes will be outlined, and the recently reported catalytic reactions promoted by these complexes will be described.

One of the most important areas of growth for the chemistry of nickel has been the polymerization and copolymerization of olefins. Thus, this chapter will describe the discovery of a family of diimine complexes that catalyze the polymerization of aliphatic olefins. A series of new and highly efficient catalysts were introduced in rapid progression, a great deal of new chemistry has been discovered, and a number of industrial processes have been developed on the basis of these nickel complexes. We will also discuss the emergence of new strategies for the efficient cross-coupling of alkyl halides with organozinc and Grignard reagents, as well as the coupling of dienes with CO2.


  • nickel complexes;
  • catalysis;
  • coupling reactions;
  • catalyzed polymerization reactions;
  • insertion reactions;
  • addition reactions;
  • reductive elimination reactions;
  • carbene ligands;
  • co-polymerization