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Why is the nickel complex exhibiting the strongest pi-bonding?

From what I understand, charge density plays a role. Also we need some empty orbitals on the metal cation, since we're looking at Lewis adducts.

Also I note that some have positive overall charges; could this play a role? Metal cation <-> NO+ repulsion? So we might want a metal anion?

Also would size play a role? Size goes hand in hand with charge density. And what about "backbonding"?

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Also we need some empty orbitals on the metal cation, since we're looking at Lewis adducts.

Ahem. Nope. $\pi$-bonding in $\ce{CO/NO+}$ complexes is from back-donation, from occupied metal d-orbitals onto unoccupied $\pi^*$ orbitals of the ligand.

Looks like homework question, so no further details provided.

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