Metallophosphoranes: The hidden face of transition metal-phosphine complexes

Jenni Goodman, Stuart A. Macgregor

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Reactions in which metallophosphoranes, of general formula LnMPR4, have been implicated as intermediates or possible transition states are reviewed. Such species can be accessed via nucleophilic attack on metal-phosphine complexes, with the source of nucleophile being either external or internal in the form of an anionic co-ligand. The reverse process, transfer of a group from a {PR4} ligand to a metal, has also been observed with the formation of a metal phosphine. Thus metallophosphoranes have been postulated to play a role in isomerization processes and novel M-X/P-R exchange reactions. Metallophosphoranes have also been implicated in unusual 'phosphine-assisted C-F bond activation' reactions. Recent computational studies on these processes are discussed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295-1306
Number of pages12
JournalCoordination Chemistry Reviews
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Bond activation
  • C-F activation
  • Density functional theory
  • Isomerization
  • M-X/P-R exchange
  • Mechanism
  • Metallophosphoranes
  • Phosphine ligands


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