IUPAC has a system for naming organic compounds, ionic compounds, and inorganic compounds. I have seen something vaguely suggesting there is one for intermetallic compounds, such as: $$\ce{Fe-Co}$$ What is the system, if it even exists? If it doesn't exist what is the generally accepted way of naming intermetallic compounds?

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    $\begingroup$ Do organometallic compounds count? I sometimes run to folks that have a vague definition of metallic compound. Would be nice if you add an example. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ @MARamezani No, I meant something like alloys, which may contain metals and non-metals. So I said metallic compounds because I don't know what else to call them. I wasn't aware this would be something misunderstood. $\endgroup$
    – tox123
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 23:13
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    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermetallic $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 0:14

1 Answer 1


In your example you have given two metals and a bond-indicating symbol.


Hyphens, Plus and Minus Signs, 'em'Dashes and Bond Indicators

'em' Dashes (ALT+0151, 'en' dash would be ALT+0150)

a) Used to indicate metal–metal bonds in polynuclear compounds (e.g. "[Mn2(CO)10 bis(pentacarbonylmanganese)(MnMn)").

b) Used to separate the indvidual constituents in names of (formal) addition compounds (e.g. "3CdSO4·8H2O cadmiumsulfate—water")

Alphabetical Order

a) Intermetallic compounds are sorted alphabetically within the group of cations and anions. Deviations are allowed in order to express structural information.

b) In coordination complexes, ligands are sorted alphabetically and the donating atom is put first (e.g. OH2 instead of H2O).

Further Reading

Therefore, I would write your example as "CoFe".

There are a lot more rules that you can read here: https://web.archive.org/web/20181005064417/https://www.iupac.org/fileadmin/user_upload/databases/Red_Book_2005.pdf


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