Ilya Ilyich Chernyayev

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Ilja Iljitsch Tschernjajew Russian Илья Ильич Черня́ев , (born January 21, 1893 in Spasskii, Vologda Oblast ; † September 30, 1966 in Moscow ) was a Russian chemist, university professor and discoverer of the trans effect .


He grew up as the son of a farmer in Spasskii. After graduating from high school in Vologda in 1911, he entered the natural science department of the physical-mathematical faculty of the University of St. Petersburg, where he studied under Lev Alexandrovich Chugayev . In 1915 he finished his studies and stayed at the university, where he researched platinum compounds in Chugayev's laboratory. In 1918 he became a university assistant in Petrograd and at the Institute for Research into Platinum and Other Precious Metals, which Chugayev had founded in Petrograd in the same year. Since pre-revolutionary Russia covered approx. 95% of the world’s demand for platinum, but only exported raw ore, Chugayev proposed the establishment of a state monopoly for exploration, production and processing. This should u. a. done by the institute he founded. The institute concentrated on the research of the metals ruthenium , rhodium , palladium , osmium , iridium and platinum as well as their coordination compounds. A close connection between the institute and the young Soviet platinum industry quickly developed. Tschernjajew remained a member of the institute until the end of his life, of which he became director after Chugayev's death in 1922 and which was moved to Moscow in 1934. In Moscow, the Institute was immediately merged with the Institute for Physical-Chemical Analysis and the Laboratory for General Chemistry of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and renamed the Institute for General and Inorganic Chemistry. From 1945 until his death he was also professor of complex chemistry at Lomonossow University .

Tschernjajew contributed significantly to the development of new extraction methods for high-purity platinum metals and also carried out research in the field of double and quadruple positive platinum complexes. His most important achievement for inorganic chemistry consists in the discovery and description of the trans effect in the years 1926–1927 (see works).

From 1940 he also dealt with complex compounds of thorium and uranium and then with radiochemistry with contributions to the Soviet nuclear energy program.


  • Tschernjajew, II Isw., 1926, 4, 243
  • Tschernjajew, II Isw., 1927, 5, 118


  • GB Kauffmann J. Chem. Educ. 1977, 54, 86-89
  • Annelore Fischer, article Ilja Ilic Cernjaev in: Winfried R. Pötsch (lead), Annelore Fischer, Wolfgang Müller: Lexicon of important chemists , Harri Deutsch 1989, p. 82


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