Standard Article

Electronic Structure of Metal—Metal Bonds

  1. John E. McGrady

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia631

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

McGrady, J. E. 2009. Electronic Structure of Metal—Metal Bonds. Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


The nature of bonding between two metal centres is extremely variable, spanning formal bond orders from 1 to 6, and this leads to a great diversity of chemical properties in metal cluster compounds. The bonds themselves have components with σ, π, δ, and ϕ symmetry, each of which has its own distinct properties. This article reviews the key features of these different bonding components.


  • Metal–metal bonds;
  • σ bond;
  • π bond;
  • δ bond;
  • ϕ bond;
  • molecular orbital theory;