Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Main-group metal complexes of α-diimine ligands: structure, bonding and reactivity

Zhang, Rong; Wang, Yanchao; Zhao, Yanxia; Redshaw, Carl; Fedushkin, Igor L.; Wu, Biao; Yang, Xiao Juan


Rong Zhang

Yanchao Wang

Yanxia Zhao

Profile Image

Professor Carl Redshaw
Professor of Inorganic Materials Chemistry and REF Lead for Chemistry

Igor L. Fedushkin

Biao Wu

Xiao Juan Yang


α-Diimine ligands, in particular 1,4-diazabutadiene (dad) and bis(iminoacenaphthene) (bian) derivatives, have been widely used for coordination with various metals, including main-group, transition, and lanthanide and actinide metals. In addition to their tunable steric and electronic properties, the dad and bian ligands are redox-active and can readily accept one or two electrons, converting into the radical-anionic (L˙−) or dianionic (enediamido, L2−) form, respectively. This non-innocence brings about rich electronic structures and properties of the ligands and complexes thereof. For example, the dad ligands in their three redox levels can effectively stabilize a series of metal centers in different oxidation states, including low-valent metals. Moreover, these ligands can serve as electron reservoirs and can participate in reactions toward other molecules with or without metals. Therefore, such ligands are extremely useful in the areas of low-valent complexes and small molecule activation. Herein, we will discuss the use of dad (and bian) ligands in the stabilization of metal–metal-bonded compounds, in particular those of main-group metals, as well as small molecule activation by these (low-valent) metal coordination species where the non-innocence of the ligands plays a key role.


Zhang, R., Wang, Y., Zhao, Y., Redshaw, C., Fedushkin, I. L., Wu, B., & Yang, X. J. (2021). Main-group metal complexes of α-diimine ligands: structure, bonding and reactivity. Dalton Transactions : an international journal of inorganic chemistry, 50(39), 13634-13650.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 4, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 14, 2021
Publication Date Oct 21, 2021
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2021
Publicly Available Date Sep 15, 2022
Journal Dalton Transactions
Print ISSN 1477-9226
Electronic ISSN 1477-9234
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Issue 39
Pages 13634-13650
Keywords Inorganic Chemistry
Public URL