ligands&coordination complexes / Alfa Chemistry
Online Inquiry

Diketone Ligands


Diketone ligands are a class of ligands with two ketone groups (C=O). These ligands contain two adjacent ketone groups in their structure, which can form stable complexes with metal ions. Diketone ligands usually have highly flexible molecular structures that can be adapted to the coordination requirements of different metal ions by adjusting the distance and angle between their ketone groups.

Due to the special structure and coordination ability of diketone ligands, they have become valuable tools in various chemical fields such as catalysis, organometallic chemistry, and materials science.

Fig.1 Diketone LigandsFig.1 (a) Structures of commonly used diketone ligands. (b) Structure of the Lewis base used in lanthanide β-diketone complexes. (c) Structures of Schiff base ligands, cyclic derivative ligands, and organic carboxylic acid ligands[1].


Diketone ligands can be classified based on their structural features and coordination modes. Some common types of diketone ligands include:

  • α-Diketone Ligands: α-Diketone ligands have a ketone group attached to a carbon atom adjacent to the carbonyl group. They are known for their ability to form chelate complexes due to the presence of two coordinating atoms. Acetylacetone is an example of an α-diketone ligand.
  • β-Diketone Ligands: This class includes ligands with a central ketone group flanked by two carbon atoms on each side. Examples include benzoylacetone and dibenzoylmethane. β-Diketone ligands possess a flexible coordination environment and can form complexes with various metal ions.
  • Acetylacetonate Ligands: Acetylacetonate ligands, such as acetylacetone (acac), are among the most widely used diketone ligands. They contain two acetylacetonate groups (CH3C(O)CH3C(O)CH3) and form stable metal complexes.


Diketone ligands find extensive applications in various areas of chemistry. Some notable applications include:

  • Catalysis

Diketone ligands are employed as ligands for transition metal catalysts in a wide range of catalytic reactions, including cross-coupling reactions, C-H activation, and asymmetric synthesis. They contribute to the stability and reactivity of metal complexes, enhancing catalytic activity and selectivity.

Fig.2 Application of dendritic β-diketones in copper-catalyzed diaryl ether formation.Fig.2 Application of dendritic β-diketones in copper-catalyzed diaryl ether formation[2].

  • Materials Science

Diketone ligands play a crucial role in the synthesis of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and coordination polymers. These materials exhibit diverse properties, including porosity, gas storage, and catalytic behavior, making them valuable for applications such as gas separation, sensing, and drug delivery systems.

  • Coordination Chemistry

Diketone ligands are utilized for the synthesis of various metal complexes, which serve as building blocks in coordination chemistry studies. These complexes can be further explored for their magnetic, luminescent, or redox properties, contributing to the development of functional materials.

Alfa Chemistry offers a full range of high quality diketone ligand products to meet your research and industrial needs. Our diketone ligands are available in varying purities and quantities to meet your specific requirements. We ensure that all ligands are synthesized using reliable methods and undergo strict quality control processes.

Contact us today to explore our range of diketone ligands and discuss how we can help your scientific career.


  • Huang Z, et al. (2022). "A Review of Lanthanide-based Fluorescent Nanofiber Membranes by Electrospinning and Their Applications." Journal of Materials Science, 57(6), 3892-3922.
  • Keller M, et al. (2022). "Synthesis of Dendritic β-Diketones and Their Application in Copper-Catalyzed Diaryl Ether Formation." European Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2012(5), 1056-1062.

Our products and services are for research use only.