- This works uses DFT (B3LYP/LACVP*(+)//B3LYP/LACVP* level) to ascertain the existence of the tricoordinate, anionic zero-valent palladium complexes that were postulated as the active species in the catalytic cycles of Pd-catalyzed Heck and cross-coupling reactions. The variety of complexes studied (1 and 2), include [Pd(PR(3))(2)X](-) species, in which R=H, Me, vinyl, and phenyl, and X=Cl, Br, I, AcO, and TFA, as well as bidentate complexes, [Pd[Ph(2)P(CH(2))(n)Ph(2)P]X](-), in which X=Cl, AcO and n=3-6. The study shows that these complexes exist as distinct minima in the gas phase as well as in THF. In addition, it provides geometric features and Pd--X(-) dissociation energies for all these complexes as well as some NMR and IR data, which show a clear distinction in these features between the tri- and dicoordinate Pd(0) species. An orbital interaction model and perturbation theory arguments account for the bonding mechanism and rationalize all the trends in the stability of the Pd--X bond. These trends include the effects of variation of X, R, and the length of the linker in the bidentate ligands.