Michael Mingos has made a unique contribution to inorganic chemistry by developing new bonding models and testing their consequences by an imaginative experimental programme. He showed great originality in developing new bonding concepts in cluster and organometallic chemistry and simultaneously made significant contributions to synthetic, structural and spectroscopic aspects of the subject.
This led to the first examples of icosahedral high nuclearity gold clusters, which he had earlier predicted, the first example of skeletal isomerism in the solid state, the first examples of gold–platinum and platinum–thallium cluster compounds, and the development of sulfur dioxide as an alternative stabilising ligand. His theoretical contributions include general bonding models for gold and platinum clusters, definition of the closed-shell requirements for condensed and high-nuclearity clusters, and the isolobal analogy.
Michael’s structural definition and bonding analysis of ambivalent ligands such as nitric oxide and sulfur dioxide have had important implications for the extensive biological role of nitric oxide. He also developed a wide range of applications of microwave dielectric heating to inorganic, organometallic and catalytic chemistry.