The molecule which binds to the main central atom of metal resulting in the formation of a coordination complex is termed as a ligand. The metal-ligand bond can vary in nature from covalent to ionic. It donates or shares the electrons to the central atoms of metals, forming a coordinate complex. The word ligand is a Latin word, meaning â€˜to tieâ€™. The nature of ligands can be anion, cation, or neutral. The ligand is classified based on the number of bonds with the metal atom, its size, and the charge in it. Bidentate ligand is the Lewis bases that donate two different pairs of the electron to the central atom of the metal. These ligands are mostly termed as â€˜chelating ligands. The most common examples of this type of ligand are ethylenediamine (en), oxalate (ox). These ligands are named as â€˜biâ€™ as they tend to give two pairs of electrons to the metal atom or ion at the center. These ligands are also referred to as chelating ligands. Since the word chelating is a Greek word which means â€˜clawâ€™ as they attach the metal at two places. Any complex structure containing a bidentate ligand or chelating ligand is termed as a chelate. Ligands are sometimes an electronic pair acceptor or sometimes they may react as electron pair which loses electrons.
Examples for bidentate ligand
The common examples of bidentate ligands are ethylenediamine, oxalate, phenanthroline, and acetylacetone.
Ethylenediamine: This is a molecule that consists of two N atoms from which, each atom donates one electron pair to the central metal atom. Ethylenediamine (en) is a neutral molecule. The formula of this organic compound is Câ‚‚Hâ‚„(NHâ‚‚)â‚‚. This is in a colorless liquid form. It readily reacts with the moisture of the air and produces a corrosive mist. Acute exposure to this product may cause serious health issues. In a reaction with metals, the product formed is Ni(en)â‚‚Clâ‚‚. Here, two (en) molecules get bonded with Nickel atom. This complex forms an octahedral structure. Ethylenediamine comes under the family of polyethylene amines.
Oxalate ion: It contains four oxygen atoms that have lone electron pairs. These ions are also referred to as ethanedioate. It is a dianion which means it contains two anions. The formula for an oxalate ion is Câ‚‚Oâ‚„Â²â». This may also be written as (COO)â‚‚Â²â». Some examples of oxalate ions are oxalic acid salts, sodium oxalate. Coordinate compounds are been formed by oxalate ions.
Acetylacetone: This is a colorless liquid. They are present in tautomers. The formula for acetylacetone is CHâ‚ƒC(O)CH=C(OH)CHâ‚ƒ. This is the initial stage of acetylacetonate which is a bidentate ligand. They help in synthesizing heterocyclic compounds.
While monodentate ligand binds only with one pair of an atom, bidentate ligands bind themselves to the central atom with two lone pairs of electrons. Such ligands as often referred to as â€˜two-toothedâ€™ ligands. Bis (dimethylphosphino) propane is an example of a bidentate ligand. It uses two pairs of phosphorus atoms to directly attach to the central atom. These reactions involve two separate bonds between a ligand and a central atom. The main central atom is metallic in nature. The ligands that perform chelation are known as chelates, or chelators. This process proves to be beneficial for removing toxic content from the body. The chelators are mostly organic in nature. They occur in their compound form. A chelate is any compound bonded with the metal atom. They form a cyclic or ring-like shaped structures. The chelate compounds are more stable than the compounds which are non-chelate. The stability of the compound is also determined by the number of atoms attached to the central atom. Mostly, the chelate ring contains five to six atoms in a structure.
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