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Unlike polydentate ligands, ambidentate ligands can attach to the central atom in two places. A good example of this is. ligand shares a pair of its electrons with the metal. Coordinate-covalent Ambidentate ligands: more than one atom in the ligand can share a. A unidentate ligand which can bond through different atoms to form different coordination compounds is called ambidentate ligand.

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This means, there are two atoms that can donate their lone electron pairs. When NH 3 is a ligand, nitrogen is the donor atom binding to the metal. In the second isomer, the ligand bonds to the metal ambidentatw an electron pair on one of the oxygen atoms.

Here, the difference is in how the ligand bonds to the metal.

Difference Between Bidentate and Ambidentate Ligands

The overall charge on a complex is the arithmetic sum of the oxidation state of the metal in the center plus the charge s brought to the complex by each ligand.

Complexes of polydentate ligands are called chelate complexes. Here a single ligand L, which could be water, donates a pair of electrons to form a bond with a metal atom M. BioLiP is a comprehensive ligand—protein interaction database, with the 3D structure of the ligand—protein interactions taken from the Protein Data Bank. It’s ambidentat to see it:. Often the ligand is employed as an optically pure group.

The email has already been used, in case you have forgotten the password click here. For example, an imido ligand in the ionic form has three lone pairs. Ligands are usually thought of as electron donors attracted ambirentate the metal at the center of the complex. Examples of bidentate ligands include ethylenediamine and oxalate ion. The theory allows one to understand the difference between coordinated ligznd ionic chloride in the cobalt ammine chlorides and to explain many of the previously inexplicable isomers.


In general bidentate, bound through both oxygens, but sometimes bound through the central carbon only, see also analogous ketimine analogues. Authors contributing to RSC publications journal articles, books or book chapters do not need to formally request permission to reproduce material contained in this article provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material. In all cases the Ref.

Structural Isomers: Linkage Isomerism in Transition Metal Complexes

A spectator ligand is a tightly coordinating polydentate ligand that does not participate in chemical reactions but removes active sites on a metal. Use dmy dates from July Commons category link from Wikidata.

Carbon monoxide is the preeminent example a ligand that engages metals via back-donation. Binding of the metal with the ligands results in a set of molecular orbitals, where the metal can be identified with a new HOMO and LUMO the orbitals defining the properties and reactivity of the resulting complex and a certain ordering of the 5 d-orbitals which may be filled, or partially filled with electrons. The key difference between bidentate and ambidentate ligands is that bidentate ligands can bind to a central atom via two bonds at the same time whereas ambidentate ligands can form two bonds with a central atom, but form only one bond at a time.


Often bulky ligands are anbidentate to simulate the steric protection afforded by proteins to metal-containing active sites. Such compounds give rise to linkage isomerism.

Structural Isomers: Linkage Isomerism in Transition Metal Complexes – Chemistry LibreTexts

Bidentate ligands are molecules or anions that can bind to an atom via two coordinate covalent bonds. Examples of electrically charged monodentate ligands are halide ions, such as: Fetching data from CrossRef. Views Read Edit View history. The image shown below of EDTA binding to ambidenntate central metal atom is an example of a chelate.

Definition of ambidentate – Chemistry Dictionary

When the chelating ligand forms a large ambidentare that at least partially surrounds the central atom and bonds to it, leaving the central atom at the centre of a large ring.

Metals and metalloids are bound to ligands in virtually all circumstances, although gaseous “naked” metal ions can be generated in high vacuum.

Chiral ligands are used in homogeneous catalysissuch as asymmetric hydrogenation. Chelating ligands are commonly formed by linking donor groups via organic linkers. For reproduction of material from PCCP: For complexes with a tetrahedral surrounding, the llgand again split into two sets, but this time in reverse order.