Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from U-Z

Wilkinson, Sir Geoffrey

rings inorganic transition london

(1921–96) British inorganic chemist: carried out important work on the structure of metallocene compounds and transition complexes.

Wilkinson, born in Todmorden, Yorkshire, studied at Imperial College London. After 13 years in Canada and the USA he returned to London in 1956 as professor of inorganic chemistry. While at Harvard University in 1952 he published with and others a paper on the remarkable compound (C5 H5 )2Fe, ferrocene. They showed that this has a structure with an iron atom sandwiched between two flat five-carbon rings. Thousands of ‘sandwich type’ molecules have now been made, containing other metals and other-sized rings (the ‘metallocenes’); even three-decker sandwiches are known. For his work on metallocenes Wilkinson shared the 1973 Nobel Prize with E O Fischer (1918–94) of Munich, who had worked independently on similar lines. Wilkinson also worked on transition metal complexes, and discovered the first homogeneous system for catalytic hydrogenation of C=C bonds by use of the rhodium complex RhCl[P(C6 H5 )3 ]3 .

Willa [next] [back] Wilkes, Maurice Vincent

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or