Standard Article

Coordination Chemistry: History

  1. George B. Kauffman

Published Online: 15 DEC 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119951438.eibc0046

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Kauffman, G. B. 2011. Coordination Chemistry: History. Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. California State University, Fresno, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2011


This article discusses a chronological history of the major discoveries, both theoretical and experimental, of coordination chemistry from antiquity through 2003. In view of Alfred Werner's central role in the field, considerable space is allotted to his achievements, but contributions of lesser-known pioneers are also included. Some of the most historically significant coordination compounds are first discussed, along with several pre-Werner theories of their formation, constitution, and configuration, followed by Werner's theory and his most important discoveries.


  • coordination chemistry;
  • coordination compounds;
  • history of chemistry;
  • biographies of chemists;
  • chemical theories;
  • stereochemistry;
  • chemical reactions;
  • syntheses;
  • structure proof;
  • X-ray diffraction;
  • stereoisomers;
  • geometric isomers;
  • resolutions;
  • optical activity;
  • electrovalence;
  • covalence;
  • double salts;
  • complexes;
  • coordination number