Ilia Ilich Cherniaev

Cherniaev, Il’ia Il’ich


Born Jan. 8 (20), 1893, in the village of Spasskoe, Vologda Province; died Sept. 30,1966, in Moscow. Soviet inorganic chemist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1943; corresponding member, 1933).

A student of L. A. Chugaev’s, Cherniaev graduated from the University of Petrograd in 1915. He began teaching there the same year, and in 1932 he became a professor. In 1918, while continuing to teach at the university, he joined the staff of the Institute for the Study of Platinum of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 1934 he became a staff member of the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; he was made the institute’s director in 1941. From 1935 to 1941, Cherniaev was a professor at the Moscow Petroleum Institute, and in 1945 he became a professor at Moscow State University.

Cherniaev’s principal works dealt with the chemistry of platinum complexes and complexes of the platinum group metals. While studying nitro derivatives of platinum(II), he discovered the trans effect of ligands—that is, he discovered that the reactivity of any ligand in the inner sphere of a complex depends on the nature of the ligand trans to it. The discovery of this effect, which was named for Cherniaev, enabled Cherniaev and his students to synthesize many new complexes. He also discovered that the sign of rotation of optically active amino compounds of platinum(IV) changes upon their conversion to amido or imido derivatives. Cherniaev devoted considerable effort to the refining of platinum group metals.

Cherniaev received four State Prizes between 1946 and 1952. He was also awarded four Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.


Kompleksnye soedineniia perekhodnykh metallov. Moscow, 1973.


Vydaiushchiesia sovetskie khimiki akademiki A. A. Grinberg i I. I. Cherniaev. Moscow, 1970.