f-Element heavy pnictogen chemistry

Jingzhen Du, Philip Cobb, Junru Ding, David Mills, Stephen Liddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The coordination and organometallic chemistry of the f-elements, that is group 3, lanthanide, and actinide ions, supported by nitrogen ligands, e.g. amides, imides, and nitrides, has become well developed over many decades. In contrast, the corresponding f-element chemisty with the heavier pnictogen analogues phosphorus, arsenic, antimony, and bismuth has remained significantly underdeveloped, due largely to a lack of suitable synthetic methodologies and also the inherent hard (f-element) soft (heavier pnictogen) acid-base mismatch, but has began to flourish in recent years. Here, we review complexes containing chemical bonds between the f-elements and heavy pnictogens from phosphorus to bismuth that spans five decades of endeavour. We focus on complexes whose identity has been unambiguously established by structural authentication by single-crystal X-ray diffraction with respect to their synthesis, characterisation, bonding, and reactivity, in order to provide a representative overview of this burgeoning area. By highlighting that much has been achieved but that there is still much to do this review aims to inspire, focus and guide future efforts in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-45
JournalChemical Science
Issue number1
Early online date4 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


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