Malcolm Green (chemist)

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Malcolm Green
Born Malcolm Leslie Hodder Green
(1936-04-16) 16 April 1936 (age 81)[1]
Alma mater Imperial College London (PhD)
Known for Green–Davies–Mingos rules[2]
Awards Corday-Morgan Prize[when?]
Davy Medal[when?]
Tilden Prize
Scientific career
Institutions University of Oxford
University of Cambridge
Thesis A study of some transitional metal hydrides and olefin complexes (1958)
Doctoral advisor Geoffrey Wilkinson
Doctoral students Vernon C. Gibson
Influences Alan Davison[3]

Malcolm Leslie Hodder Green FRS FRSC (born 16 April 1936) is Emeritus Professor of inorganic chemistry at the University of Oxford. He has made many contributions to organometallic chemistry.[4][1]


Born in Eastleigh, Hampshire, he received his BSc degree from Acton Technical College (London University External Regulations) in 1956 and his PhD from Imperial College of Science and Technology in 1959 under the supervision of Professor Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson.

Career and research[edit]

Structure of (C2H5)TiCl3(dmpe), highlighting an agostic interaction between the methyl group and the Ti centre.[5]

After his PhD, Green undertook a postdoctoral research year with Wilkinson before moving to the University of Cambridge in 1960 as Assistant Lecturer and being elected a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1961. In 1963 he was appointed a Septcentenary Fellow of Inorganic Chemistry at Balliol College, Oxford and a Departmental Demonstrator at the University of Oxford. In 1965 he was made a Lecturer and he was also a Royal Society Senior Research Fellow in Oxford 1979–86. In 1989 he was appointed Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and Head of the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory at Oxford and Fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford. In 2004 he became an Emeritus Research Professor and continues research with a substantial group. He was a co-founder of the Oxford Catalysts Group plc in 2006.[citation needed]

Green has held many visiting positions including: Visiting Professor, Ecole de Chimie and Institute des Substances Naturelles, Paris (1972), Alfred P. Sloan Visiting Professor, Harvard University (1975), Sherman Fairchild Visiting Scholar at the California Institute of Technology (1981), and Walter Hieber Gastprofessor, University of Munich, Germany (1991).

Green's earliest publications described metal-hydride and metal-olefin complexes,[6] themes that he pursued throughout his career. Many of his early contributions focused on the chemistry of (C5H5)2MoH2 and the related tungsten derivative. These compounds were shown to engage in many reactions related to C-H bond activation.[citation needed]

With Rooney, he was an active proponent of various mechanisms to explain stereochemistry in Ziegler-Natta polymerisation. He used metal vapour synthesis, especially for the preparation of early metal sandwich complexes. He and his students synthesised several examples of complexes exhibiting "agostic" bonds.[7] The word was suggested to him by Jasper Griffin, professor of Classics at Balliol, whom Green asked for an appropriate Greek word to describe the close bonding phenomenon. This work would later lead to the so-called "modified Green-Rooney mechanism" for Ziegler-Natta catalysis, wherein agostic interactions guide the stereochemistry of the alkene insertion step. This proposal found wide acceptance. His work on metal carbide catalysts led to the corporate spin-off company Oxford Catalysts plc, which became Velocys.[citation needed]

Green along with Stephen G. Davies and Michael Mingos compiled a set of rules that summarise where nucleophilic additions will occur on pi ligands known as the Green–Davies–Mingos rules.[2]

Awards and honours[edit]

His numerous awards include:


  1. ^ a b GREEN, Prof. Malcolm Leslie Hodder. Who's Who. 1986 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  closed access publication – behind paywall (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Davies, Stephen G.; Green, Malcolm L.H.; Mingos, D.Michael P. (1978). "Nucleophilic addition to organotransition metal cations containing unsaturated hydrocarbon ligands". Tetrahedron. 34 (20): 3047–3077. doi:10.1016/0040-4020(78)87001-X. ISSN 0040-4020. 
  3. ^ Green, Malcolm L. H.; Cummins, Christopher C.; Kronauge, James F. (2017). "Alan Davison. 24 March 1936 – 14 November 2015". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2017.0004. ISSN 0080-4606. 
  4. ^ "Professor M. L. H. Green". University of Oxford. 
  5. ^ Z. Dawoodi, M. L. H. Green, V. S. B. Mtetwa, K. Prout, A. J. Schultz, J. M. Williams, T. F. Koetzle (1986). "Evidence for carbon–hydrogen–titanium interactions: synthesis and crystal structures of the agostic alkyls [TiCl3(Me2PCH2CH2PMe2)R] (R = Et or Me)". J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans.: 1629. doi:10.1039/dt9860001629. 
  6. ^ Green, M. L. H.; Pratt, L.; Wilkinson, G. (1958). "Dicyclopentadienylrhenium hydride". Journal of the Chemical Society: 3916–22. doi:10.1039/jr9580003916. 
  7. ^ Brookhart, M.; Green, M. L. H.; Parkin, G., "Agostic Interactions in Transition Metal Compounds", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2007, 104, 6908–6914.
  8. ^ a b Anon (1985). "Professor Malcolm Green FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015.