CBSE Class 12 Chemistry Coordination Compounds Notes Set G

CBSE Class 12 Chemistry notes and questions for Co-ordination Compounds Part D. Learning the important concepts is very important for every student to get better marks in examinations. The concepts should be clear which will help in faster learning. The attached concepts made as per NCERT and CBSE pattern will help the student to understand the chapter and score better marks in the examinations.


1. Coordination compounds

Coordination compounds are compounds in which a central metal atom or ion is linked to a number of ions or neutral molecules by coordinate bonds or which contain complex ions.

Examples- K4[Fe(CN)6]; [ Cu(NH3)4]SO4; Ni(CO)4

2.The main postulates of Werner’s theory of coordination compounds

i) In coordination compounds metals show two types of linkages or valencies- Primary and Secondary.

ii) The primary valencies are ionisable and are satisfied by negative ions.

iii) The secondary valencies are non- ionisable and are satisfied by neutral molecules or negative ions. The secondary valence is equal to the C.N and is fixed for a metal.

iv) The ions or groups bound by secondary linkages to the metal have characteristic spatial arrangements corresponding to different coordination nos.

3.Difference between a double salt and a complex

Both double salts as well as complexes are formed by the combination of two or more stable compounds in stoichiometric ratio. However, double salts such as carnallite, KCl.MgCl2.6H2O, Mohr‘s salt, FeSO4.(NH4)2SO4.6H2O, potash alum, KAl(SO4)2.12H2O, etc. dissociate into simple ions completely when dissolved in water. However, complex ions such as [Fe(CN)6]4– of K4[Fe(CN)6], do not dissociate into Fe2+ and CN ions


(i) Coordination entity: It constitutes the central metal ion or atom bonded to a fixed number of ions or molecules represented within a square bracket.

(ii) Central atom/ ion: In a coordination entity, the atom/ion to which a fixed number of ions/groups are bound in a definite geometrical arrangement around it, is called the central atom or ion.

iii) Ligands: The neutral or negative ions bound to the central metal or ion in the coordination entity. These donate a pair/s of electrons to the central metal atom /ion. Ligands may be classified asa)

Monodentate/Unidentate: Ligands bound to the central metal atom/ion through a single donor atom. Ex- Cl- ; H2O ; NH3 ; NO2-.

b) Didentate: Ligates through two donor atoms. Ex- C2O4 2- (ox); H2NCH2CH2NH2(en)

c) Polydentate: which ligates through two or more donor atoms present in a single ligand. Ex-(EDTA)4-

d) Chelating ligands: Di- or polydentate ligands that uses two or more donor atoms to bind to a single metal ion to form ring- like complexes. (Ox); (edta)

e) Ambidentate ligand: A ligand that can ligate through two different atoms, one at a time.                          Ex-NO2- ; SCNv)

Coordination number: The no. of ligand donor atoms to which the metal is directly bonded through sigma bonds only. It is commonly 4 or 6.

vi) Counter ions: The ionisable groups written outside the square bracket.

Ex- K+ in K4[Fe(CN)6] OR 3Cl- in [Co(NH3)6]Cl3

vii) Coordination Polyhedron: The spatial arrangement of the ligand atoms which are directly attached to the central metal atom/ion. They are commonly Octahedral, Square-planar or Tetrahedral

Oxidation number: The charge that the central atom would carry if all the ligands are removed along with their pairs of electrons shared with the central atom. It is represented in parenthesis.

viii) Homoleptic complexes: Complexes in which a metal is bonded to only one kind of donor groups.       Ex- [Co(NH3)6] 3+

ix) Heteroleptic complexes: Complexes in which a metal is bonded to more than one kind of donor groups. Ex- [Co(NH3)4 Cl2]+ 

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