Henry Taube and Coordination Chemistry

Resources with Additional Information

Henry Taube
Chuck Painter/Stanford News Service

Henry Taube, a Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, at Stanford University, received the 1983 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his work on the mechanisms of electron transfer reactions, especially in metal complexes"

Taube 'received a doctorate from the University of California-Berkeley in 1940 and was an instructor there from 1940-41. "I became deeply interested in chemistry soon after I came to Berkeley," Taube recalled. …

He joined the Cornell University faculty in 1941, becoming a naturalized United States citizen in 1942, and then moved in 1946 to the University of Chicago where he remained until 1961. A year later he joined the Stanford faculty as professor of chemistry, a position he held until 1986, when he became professor emeritus. …

In addition to his university work, he also was a consultant at the Los Alamos National Laboratory … .

Taube maintained a lifelong interest in oxidation-reduction or "redox" reactions, in which electrons are lost and gained during a chemical reaction. "Redox reactions occur in biological processes, such as respiration, as well as in abiological processes," [friend and collaborator Jim Collman, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Stanford] explained. "Henry developed the details of how these reactions occur, and in the process invented a new chemistry regarding transition metals, such as ruthenium. He was truly the master of redox reactions." …

Taube's groundbreaking research [was] in the field of coordination chemistry, which involves the study of metal complexes ("coordination compounds") that consist of a metal atom surrounded by other molecules or ions. … [He also] conducted research bridging the interface between traditional coordination chemistry and organometallic chemistry.'1

Resources with Additional Information

Additional information about Henry Taube, Coordination Chemistry, and redox reactions is available in electronic documents and on the Web.


Oxygen-17 NMR Shifts Caused by Cr++ in Aqueous Solutions, DOE Technical Report, 1962

Reactions of Solvated Ions Final Report, DOE Technical Report, 1962

Isotopic Discrimination of Some Solutes in Liquid Ammonia, DOE Technical Report, 1966

Final Technical Report of Research, DOE Technical Report, 1972


Additional Web Pages:

A Century of Chemical Dynamics Traced through the Nobel Prizes: 1983: Henry Taube

Henry Taube: Inorganic Chemist Extraordinaire, Inorganic Chemistry, 45 (18) August 28, 2006

2005 National Medal of Science

Memorial Resolution: Henry Taube

Taube Scholarship Fund Fellowship, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)

Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Stanford University

Guide to Henry Taube Papers


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