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I was wondering why is this equilibrium below established at all... Why can't Co(CO)4 exist on its own, as a monomer?

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    $\begingroup$ Reference 5 in the corresponding Wikipedia article gives a lot of information if not the complete answer. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Nov 3, 2022 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ Also note that the monomer you speak of is not a neutral molecule. It is actually charged, $\ce{[Co(CO)4]-}$. See: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/97571/… $\endgroup$ Nov 4, 2022 at 2:51
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    $\begingroup$ @NilayGhosh The monomer in this case is the (17 electron) neutral Co(CO)4 molecule; [Co(CO)4]− is a different entity. c.f. NO2, N2O4 and NO2- $\endgroup$
    – Ian Bush
    Nov 4, 2022 at 8:29

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