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Tungsten: Organometallic Chemistry

  1. Craig B. Pamplin,
  2. Trevor W. Hayton,
  3. Peter Legzdins

Published Online: 15 MAR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia250

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Pamplin, C. B., Hayton, T. W. and Legzdins, P. 2006. Tungsten: Organometallic Chemistry . Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2006


This article surveys the organometallic chemistry of tungsten in a systematic manner according to the various types of complexes known to contain tungsten–carbon bonds. The first section deals with complexes having the inorganic ligands CO (carbonyl), CNR (isocyanide), and CN (cyanide) in the metal's coordination sphere. The second and by far the largest section considers tungsten complexes containing organic ligands. This section is divided into subsections dealing with compounds having η1-hydrocarbyl ligands (i.e. alkyl and aryl complexes, vinyl and alkynyl complexes, carbene complexes, and carbyne complexes), η2-hydrocarbon ligands (i.e. alkene complexes and alkyne complexes), η3-hydrocarbon ligands (i.e. allyl complexes), η4-hydrocarbon ligands (i.e. diene complexes), η5-hydrocarbon ligands (i.e. cyclopentadienyl complexes), and η6-hydrocarbon ligands (i.e. arene complexes). Within each category of complex, the material is generally presented in the following order: common methods of synthesis of these complexes, their characteristic physical properties, and their representative chemical properties. The latter are usually illustrated by examples taken from the literature published since 1992, the final year of coverage by the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. Other articles in the current encyclopedia also cover some aspects of this chemistry, most notably, alkene and alkyne metathesis reactions mediated by organotungsten complexes, the organometallic chemistry of di- and polynuclear tungsten complexes, and tungsten compounds containing main group element ligands. Consequently, these topics are not specifically discussed in this article.


  • tungsten;
  • complex;
  • organometallic;
  • synthesis;
  • reactivity