Summary: Forty-Five Years of Chemical Discovery Including a Golden
John P. Fackler, Jr.*
Department of Chemistry and the Laboratory for Molecular Structure and Bonding,
Texas A&M UniVersity, College Station, Texas 77843
Received May 20, 2002
Inorganic chemistry became a passion for me as a graduate student in the 1950s. It was exciting to be part of the
renaissance of the discipline, and I am pleased to have contributed to its strength. Physical concepts applied to the
understanding of the properties of transition metal compounds guided our work initially. In the 1970s, probably as
a direct result of the world abandoning the gold standard, the chemistry of gold was awakened after a long sleep.
Much of the chemistry covered in this review of our work relates to novel compounds of gold and the properties
they display which have been uncovered during the last 25 years of the 20th century. Stable metal-metal bonded
Au(II) and organometallic Au(III) compounds, bi- and trimetallic oxidative addition, phosphorescent species with
microsecond lifetimes, gold chains resulting from aurophilic bonding stronger than H-bonding, and recently, gold
binding to organic acids have intrigued my group and other gold chemists during this period.
Introduction. There are few times in a scientist's career
that the opportunity arises to describe a major portion of his
own work in a journal as important as Inorganic Chemistry.
I am delighted to be invited to do this and herein will attempt
to describe my primary contributions, especially those that