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Coordination Chemistry: Linkage Isomers

The complex [Co(NH3)5(NO2)]2+ has two isomeric forms, which are known as linkage isomers. Pentaamminenitrocobalt(III) chloride is a yellow compound; pentaamminenitritocobalt(III) chloride is a red compound.

The [Co(NH3)5(NO2)]2+ ion contains five NH3 ligands and one NO2- ligand. Carefully examine the structures shown below.

  1. What is the difference between the two linkage isomers?
  2. Formulate a definition for the term "linkage isomers".
  3. Draw the Lewis structure for the nitrite ion: NO2-. Explain how two different types of bonding are possible for this ligand.
  4. Can the NH3 ligand bond in two different ways? Why or why not? (A Lewis structure will prove helpful.)
  5. Other ligands that show linkage isomers are the thiocyanate ion (SCN-) and the cyanate ion (OCN-). Draw Lewis structures for these ligands and identify the different modes of bonding for each ligand.
pentaamminenitrocobalt(III) ion pentaamminenitritocobalt(III) ion


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Coordination Chemistry Isomers

Coordination Isomers       Linkage Isomers       Geometric Isomers       Optical Isomers

Isomerization Summary

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