9.22 Discuss the nature of bonding in metal carbonyls.
The metal-carbon bonds in metal carbonyls have both σ and π characters.
A σ bond is formed when the carbonyl carbon donates a lone pair of electrons to the vacant d orbital of the metal.
A π bond is formed by the donation of a pair of electrons from the filled metal d orbital into the vacant anti-bonding π* orbital of CO ligand (also known as back bonding of the carbonyl group).
The σ bond strengthens the π bond and vice-versa. Thus, a synergic effect is created due to this metal-ligand bonding. This synergic effect strengthens the bond between CO and the metal.
The synergic bonding diagram is as follows: