Reference numberEC/1994/41
TitleCotton, Frank Albert: certificate of election to the Royal Society
DescriptionCitation typed. Certificate for Fellow used; 'Fellowship' crossed out and 'Foreign Membership' inserted. Citation continued on separate piece of paper attached to certificate
CitationCotton, Frank Albert (College Station, Texas, U.S.A.) b.9.4.1930. Robert A Welch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Texas A and M University. Professor Cotton, who is a member of the American National Academy, has been a prime figure in the development of inorganic chemistry over the last three decades. His initial interests were in the critical assessment of ligand theory to our understanding of the spectral and magnetic properties of first row transition metal complexes. His pioneering work in this area laid the fundamental approach which formed the basis of the appllication of these techniques to a routine analysis of these phenomena and their general use as diagnostic tools in elucidation of stereochemistry of complexes of the first row transition elements. Cotton's approach to the subject was characterised by a firm understanding and appreciation of the physics of these two problems. A complementary series of studies was also pursued in the area of organometallic chemistry. This work led to the general appreciation and understanding of fluxional behaviour of molecules within inorganic chemistry. Cotton established many of the procedures and analytical techniques used to elucidate the mechanistic details for a large range of systems, particularly for organometallic derivatives of metal carbonyls. This led him to a study of metal-hydride systems and his work in this area established some of the primary structural characteristics of this important series of complexes. Professor Cotton has made many contributions to the field of structural chemistry and his enthusiastic employment of X-ray methods for the determination of the studies in inorganic compounds, with the recognition of the rapidity of such methods with new technical developments, has revolutionised the whole approach to structural inorganic chemistry. The wide range of molecules studied, both biological and inorganic illustrated his catholic command of all ranges of this structural technique. In particular, the rapid determination of the structure of inorganic molecules allowed him to unravel the details of small subtle variation in structure between members of a series of closely related molecules, and provide a new dimension in our understranding of the steric-electronic factors influencing the structure of inorganic molecules. His most recent endeavours have been directed towards the documentation and elucidation of the structure of inorganic molecules containing multiple bonds between two or more metal centres. His initial recognition of the presence of quadruple bonding in some dimetallic complexes of rhenium and the elegant synthetic work which has allowed him to extend the series of complexes sharing this bonding mode to a very wide range of the neighbouring transition elements, is outstanding. The general preparation, structure and reactivity of these molecules has now been firmly established and their spectroscopic properties analysed by development of current theories of electronic structure particularly by X-alpha scattering wave calculation. Cotton's publications, which are prodigious, has pervaded many of the most significant developments within inorganic chemistry for the last thirty years. He is a prime mover in all fields of research that he undertakes. His work has been stamped with a degree of care for the detail, coupled with an appreciation of the broader potential generalities of the work. His work has impact on the whole of transition metal chemistry in the fields of inorganic, organic and biochemical systems. He has received many national and international awards in recognition of his work. His Honorary Degrees include Universities such as Cambridge, Frankfurt, Strasbourg and Columbia. He was a recent recipient of the King Faisal International Prize in Science and has been awarded the NAS award in Chemical Sciences and the National Medal of Science. He is at present a Member of the Council of the National Academy of Sciences.
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Fellows associated with this archive
NA4029Cotton; Frank Albert (1930 - 2007)1930 - 2007
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