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Charge Makes a Difference: Molecular Ionic Bismuth Compounds

Key challenges in modern synthetic chemistry include the design of reliable, selective, and more sustainable synthetic methods, as well as the development of promising candidates for new materials. Molecular bismuth compounds offer valuable opportunities as they show an intriguing spectrum of properties that is yet to be fully exploited: a soft character, a rich coordination chemistry, the availability of a broad variety of oxidation states (at least +V to –I) and formal charges (at least +3 to –3) at the Bi atoms, and reversible switching between multiple oxidation states. All this is paired with the status of a non-precious (semi-)metal of good availability and a tendency towards low toxicity. Recent findings show that some of these properties only come into reach, or can be substantially optimized, when charged compounds are specifically addressed. In this review, essential contributions to the synthesis, analyses, and utilization of ionic bismuth compounds are highlighted.

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