Within the general area of early main group metal chemistry, the controlled synthesis of well-defined metal hydride complexes is a rapidly developing research field. As group 1 and 2 metal complexes are generally highly dynamic and lattice energies for their [MH]∞ and [MH2]∞ salts are high, the synthesis of well-defined soluble hydride complexes is an obvious challenge. Access to molecular early main group metal hydrides, however, is rewarding: these hydrocarbon-soluble metal hydrides are highly reactive, have found use in early main group metal catalysis and are potentially also valuable molecular model systems for polar metal hydrides as a hydrogen storage material. The article focusses specifically on alkali and alkaline-earth metal hydride complexes and discusses the synthetic challenge, molecular structures, reactivity and applications.
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