Project Details Categorizing Interactions Involving Group 11 Elements

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 May 2021
End Date:


The recent focus on supramolecular/nanostructured systems drew major attention on chemical interactions and prompted a flurry of terms indicating specific interaction subclasses. This is particularly true for interactions involving group 11 elements. This Project assesses the consensus on the consistent use of the different terms employed to designate specific subclasses of group 11 elements interactions. It explores the possible extension to some interactions of group 11 elements of the trend (developed for p-block elements interactions: PAC, 2013, 85, 1711 <>, 931 citations; PAC, 2019, 91, 1899 <>, ISI hot-paper) to classify interactions by referring to the name of the group of the electrophilic atom in the interaction.


Group 11 elements afford a wide diversity of chemical interactions which differ for the preferentially involved moieties, the geometric/energetic features, the nature of prevailing attractive forces, etc. Numerous terms are available in the chemical literature to designate specific subclasses of these interactions. For instance, the so-named aurophilic and argentophilic interactions are typically homonuclear short contacts wherein relativistic effects play an important role while coinage (or regium) bonds can be characterized as heteronuclear short contacts wherein the group 11 element is the electrophile. Inconsistent use of these and related terms sometimes occurs, as it is often the case when several terms are employed by different communities to designate phenomena involving analogous moieties.

This Project undertakes actions to promote a consistent use of the terms designating group 11 elements interactions. Workshops will be organized, compilations and/or reviews will be filed, IUPAC Recommendation(s) will be prepared if necessary/possible. This Project explores the possible consensus in categorizing some interactions formed by group 11 elements by adopting the mindset underlying the IUPAC Recommendations defining the halogen and chalcogen bonds, i.e., in naming electrophile/nucleophile interactions by referring to the name of the group of the electrophilic atom. This is a particularly timely, demanding, and impacting issue from both a scientific and societal viewpoint. It implies the validation of criteria used to classify interactions formed by p-block elements in order to classify interactions formed d-block elements. The overall objective is to translate analogy in chemical phenomena (chemical consistency) into analogy in definitions describing them (terminological consistency). A second objective will be to explore the possible consensus in categorizing some other interactions formed by group 11 elements as aurophilic or argentophilic interactions.


Project announcement published in Chem Int Oct 2021, p. 32

March 2022 update – Mobility restrictions related to the on-going pandemic situation of SARS-CoV-2 prevented the organization of the kick-off meeting which was expected in presence at Politecnico di Milano (the University of the Tack-Group Chair). Communication and discussion occurred via on-line meetings.

The first event of this Project will be a Workshop entitled “Interactions involving elements of groups 11, 14, 15, 16 and beyond”. It will be organized as a satellite event of the 2nd International Conference on Noncovalent Interactions (ICNI-2, Strasbourg (France), 18-22 July 2022). This Workshop will be a joint event with the IUPAC project 2016-001-2-300 (“Categorizing Chalcogen, Pnictogen, and Tetrel Bonds, and Other Interactions Involving Groups 14-16 Elements”). The Workshop is planned on Friday 22nd July, 2022 and the distinguished researchers listed below have accepted to deliver a lecture (the two speakers which are also Members of the Project Task Group are in bold):
BRINK Tore, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
FOURMIGUE Marc, Rennes Institute of Chemical Sciences, France
FRONTERA Antonio, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Spain
MAHMUDOV Kamran, University of Lisbon, Portugal
MATILE Stefan, University of Geneva, Switzerland
PIZZI Andrea, Politecnico Milano, Italy
VARGAS BACA Ignacio, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
BONIFAZI Davide, Universit t Wien, Austria
POSTNIKOV Pavel, Tomsk Technical University, Russian Federation.
A poster session is expected to complete the Workshop.

Page last updated 23 March 2022