Cyanide (cyano vs isocyano)

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Joussie Camacho 4I
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Cyanide (cyano vs isocyano)

Postby Joussie Camacho 4I » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:06 am

Under the list of Anionic Ligands (from the Naming Coordination Compounds link on Dr. Lavelle's website) there is the name cyano for when cyanide is bound to the transition metal at the carbon, but there is also the name isocyano for when cyanide binds at the nitrogen. I thought that cyanide was always the one to make create the bond with the transition metal since it's the atom that hold the negative charge so it would prefer to bind to the central transition metal cation. And since it's linear and monodentate, the nitrogen can't also bind to something. So when would nitrogen be the one being bonded so that we would have to use the name isocyano?

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Re: Cyanide (cyano vs isocyano)

Postby Chem_Mod » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:51 pm

Cyano and isocyano differ in what the atom connectivity is.

If C is the bonded atom, it can donate its lone pair to form a bond with the transition metal. Similarly, if N is the bonded atom, it can also donate its lone pair to form a bond.

Here is a picture of how they may differ in terms of connectivity.
imgsrv.fcgi.png (2.86 KiB) Viewed 149 times

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Re: Cyanide (cyano vs isocyano)

Postby haleyervin7 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:54 pm

How will we know which one to use if we aren't given the lewis structure?

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