Tungsten hexacarbonyl

Chembox new
ImageFile = Tungsten hexacarbonyl 3D.png ImageSize =
IUPACName = hexacarbonyltungsten(0)
OtherNames = Hexacarbonyltungsten, Tungsten carbonyl
Section1 = Chembox Identifiers
CASNo = 14040-11-0
EINECS = 237-880-2
PubChem = 98884
InChI = 1/6CO.W/c6*1-2;

Section2 = Chembox Properties
Formula = C6O6W
MolarMass = 351.90 g/mol
Appearance = Colorless solid
Density = 2.65 g/cm3, solid
MeltingPt = 150 °C
BoilingPt = subl.
Solubility = Insoluble
SolubleOther = Sparingly in THF

Section3 = Chembox Hazards
MainHazards = Flammable (F), CO source
RPhrases =
SPhrases = S22 S24/25
FlashPt =
Autoignition =

Section8 = Chembox Related
OtherAnions =
OtherCations =
OtherFunctn =
Function =
OtherCpds = Cr(CO)6 Fe(CO)5 Mn2(CO)10 Mo(CO)6

Tungsten hexacarbonyl (also called tungsten carbonyl) is the chemical compound with the formula W(CO)6. This complex gave rise to the first example of a dihydrogen complex.Kubas, G. J., Metal Dihydrogen and σ-Bond Complexes, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers: New York, 2001.]

This colorless compound, like its chromium and molybdenum analogs, is noteworthy as a volatile, air-stable derivative of tungsten in its zero oxidation state.

Preparation, properties, and structure

W(CO)6 is prepared by the reduction of WCl6 under a pressure of carbon monoxide. It would be rare to prepare this inexpensive compound in the laboratory because the apparatus is expensive and the compound can be purchased cheaply. The compound is relatively air-stable. It is sparingly soluble in nonpolar organic solvents.

W(CO)6 adopts an octahedral geometry consisting of six rod-like CO ligands radiating from the central W atom with dipole moment 0 D.


All reactions of W(CO)6 commence with displacement of some CO ligands in W(CO)6. W(CO)6 behaves similarly to the Mo(CO)6 but tends to form compounds that are kinetically more robust.

One derivative is the dihydrogen complex W(CO)3 [P(C6H11)3] 2(H2) reported in 1982 by Kubas.

Three of these CO ligands can be displaced by acetonitrile. [Kubas, G. J. and van der Sluys, L. S., "TricarbonylTris(nitrile) Complexes of Cr, Mo, and W", Inorganic Syntheses, 1990, 28, 29-33.] W(CO)6 has been used to desulfurize organosulfur compounds and as a precursor to catalysts for alkene metathesis.

afety and handling

Like all metal carbonyls, W(CO)6 is dangerous source of volatile metal as well as CO.


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