M. L. H. Green

Malcolm Green

Malcolm Leslie Hodder Green

(1936-04-16)16 April 1936[1]
Died24 July 2020(2020-07-24) (aged 84)
EducationDenstone College
Alma materUniversity of London (BSc Hons)
University of Cambridge (MA)
University of Oxford (MA)
Imperial College London (PhD)
Known forGreen–Davies–Mingos rules[2]
AwardsCorday-Morgan Prize 1972
Tilden Prize 1982
Davy Medal 1995
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Oxford
University of Cambridge
ThesisA study of some transitional metal hydrides and olefin complexes (1958)
Doctoral advisorGeoffrey Wilkinson
Doctoral studentsF. Geoffrey N. Cloke, Vernon C. Gibson,[3] Gerard Parkin, Luet Lok Wong, Dermot O'Hare, Philip Mountford
InfluencesAlan Davison,[4] Harry Julius Emeleus

Malcolm Leslie Hodder Green FRS FRSC[5] (16 April 1936 – 24 July 2020)[6] was Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Oxford. He made many contributions to organometallic chemistry.[7][1]


Born in Eastleigh, Hampshire, he was educated at Denstone College[1] and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Acton Technical College (London University External Regulations) in 1956 and his PhD from Imperial College of Science and Technology in 1959 for research carried out under the supervision of Geoffrey Wilkinson.


Structure of (C2H5)TiCl3(dmpe), highlighting an agostic interaction between the methyl group and the Ti centre.[8]

After his PhD, Green undertook a postdoctoral research year with Wilkinson before moving to the University of Cambridge in 1960 as Assistant Lecturer and being appointed a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1961.[9] In 1963 he was appointed a Septcentenary Fellow of Inorganic Chemistry at Balliol College, Oxford and a Departmental Demonstrator at the University of Oxford. In 1965 he was made a Lecturer and he was also a Royal Society Senior Research Fellow in Oxford 1979–86. In 1989 he was appointed Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and Head of the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory at Oxford and Fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford. In 2004 he became an Emeritus Research Professor. He was a co-founder of the Oxford Catalysts Group plc in 2006.[9]

Green held many visiting positions including: Visiting Professor, Ecole de Chimie and Institute des Substances Naturelles, Paris (1972), Alfred P. Sloan Visiting Professor, Harvard University (1975), Sherman Fairchild Visiting Scholar at the California Institute of Technology (1981), and Walter Hieber Gastprofessor, University of Munich, Germany (1991).


Green's earliest publications described metal-hydride and metal-olefin complexes,[10] themes that he pursued throughout his career. Many of his early contributions focused on the chemistry of (C5H5)2MoH2 and the related tungsten derivative. These compounds were shown to engage in many reactions related to C-H bond activation.[citation needed]

With Rooney, he was an active proponent of various mechanisms to explain stereochemistry in Ziegler–Natta polymerisation. He used metal vapour synthesis, especially for the preparation of early metal sandwich complexes. He and his students synthesised several examples of complexes exhibiting "agostic" bonds.[11] The word was suggested to him by Jasper Griffin, professor of Classics at Balliol, whom Green asked for an appropriate Greek word to describe the close bonding phenomenon. This work would later lead to the so-called "modified Green-Rooney mechanism" for Ziegler–Natta catalysis, wherein agostic interactions guide the stereochemistry of the alkene insertion step. This proposal found wide acceptance. His work on metal carbide catalysts led to the corporate spin-off company Oxford Catalysts plc, which became Velocys.[9]

Green along with Stephen G. Davies and Michael Mingos compiled a set of rules that summarise where nucleophilic additions will occur on pi ligands known as the Green–Davies–Mingos rules.[2] His former doctoral students include Vernon C. Gibson.[3]

Green developed the covalent bond classification (CBC) method in 1995 to describe the ligands and bonding in coordination and organometallic complexes.[12][13]

Awards and honours[]

His numerous awards include:


  1. ^ a b c Anon (1986). "Green, Prof. Malcolm Leslie Hodder". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.18020. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Davies, Stephen G.; Green, Malcolm L.H.; Mingos, D.Michael P. (1978). "Nucleophilic addition to organotransition metal cations containing unsaturated hydrocarbon ligands". Tetrahedron. 34 (20): 3047–3077. doi:10.1016/0040-4020(78)87001-X. ISSN 0040-4020.
  3. ^ a b Gibson, Vernon Charles (1983). Synthesis and reactivity studies on high-energy tertiary phosphine transition metal compounds. bodleian.ox.ac.uk (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. OCLC 59298028. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.348027.
  4. ^ Green, Malcolm L. H.; Cummins, Christopher C.; Kronauge, James F. (2017). "Alan Davison. 24 March 1936 – 14 November 2015". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 63: 197–213. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2017.0004. ISSN 0080-4606.
  5. ^ Crabtree, Robert H. (2021). "Malcolm L. H. Green. 16 April 1936 — 24 July 2020". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 70: 175–188. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2020.0038. S2CID 231643578.
  6. ^ Professor Malcolm Green 1936-2020
  7. ^ "Professor M. L. H. Green". University of Oxford.
  8. ^ Z. Dawoodi, M. L. H. Green, V. S. B. Mtetwa, K. Prout, A. J. Schultz, J. M. Williams, T. F. Koetzle (1986). "Evidence for carbon–hydrogen–titanium interactions: synthesis and crystal structures of the agostic alkyls [TiCl3(Me2PCH2CH2PMe2)R] (R = Et or Me)". J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans. (8): 1629. doi:10.1039/dt9860001629.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. ^ a b c "Malcolm Green, inorganic chemist whose lab was a thrilling place in which to work – obituary". Daily Telegraph. 21 September 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  10. ^ Green, M. L. H.; Pratt, L.; Wilkinson, G. (1958). "Dicyclopentadienylrhenium hydride". Journal of the Chemical Society: 3916–22. doi:10.1039/jr9580003916.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  11. ^ Brookhart, M.; Green, M. L. H.; Parkin, G., "Agostic Interactions in Transition Metal Compounds", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2007, 104, 6908–6914.
  12. ^ "A new approach to the formal classification of covalent compounds of the elements". Journal of Organometallic Chemistry. 500 (1–2): 127–148. 20 September 1995. doi:10.1016/0022-328X(95)00508-N. ISSN 0022-328X.
  13. ^ Green, Malcolm L. H.; Parkin, Gerard (10 June 2014). "Application of the Covalent Bond Classification Method for the Teaching of Inorganic Chemistry". Journal of Chemical Education. 91 (6): 807–816. doi:10.1021/ed400504f. ISSN 0021-9584.
  14. ^ "Corday-Morgan Prize Previous Winners". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Chemistry of Transition Metals Award Previous Winners". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Tilden Prizes Previous Winners". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  17. ^ "ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  18. ^ a b Anon (1985). "Professor Malcolm Green FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015.
  19. ^ "Organometallic Chemistry Award Previous Winners". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Frankland Award Previous Winners". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  21. ^ "ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson Award Previous Winners". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Malcolm Green FRS: In celebration of his 80th Birthday". Royal Society of Chemistry. 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2020.