What’s in a name?† ‘Coinage-metal’ non-covalent bonds and their definition

Anthony Legon, Nicholas Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
253 Downloads (Pure)


Many complexes of the type B…MX, (where B is a Lewis base such as H2, N2, ethyne, ethene,cyclopropane, H2O, H2S, PH3, or NH3, M is a coinage-metal atom Cu, Ag or Au, and X is a halogen atom) have now been characterised in the gas phase through their rotational spectra. It is pointed outthat, for a given B, such complexes have angular geometries that are isomorphous with those of their hydrogen- and halogen-bonded counterparts B…HX and B…XY, respectively. Since the MX are, like the B, HX and XY referred to, closed-shell molecules, the complexes B…MX also involve a non-covalent bond. Therefore, the name ‘coinage-metal’ bond is suggested for the non-covalent interaction in B…MX, by analogy with hydrogen and halogen bonds. A generalised definition that covers all noncovalent bonds is also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberDOI: 10.1039/c8cp03432j
Pages (from-to)19332-19338
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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