MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: What is the difference in B/w square planar and tetrahedral coordination of

Date: Mon Jun 26 14:14:16 2000
Posted By: Marc Breen, Post-doc/Fellow, Center Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, U. S. Naval Research Laboratory
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 960462021.Ch


This is a fairly complicated question to answer in a few brief
paragraphs.  Basically, it has to do with the available bonding orbitals in
the ligands (i.e. the things attached to the central metal atoms).  Carbon
has room in it's p-orbitals to overlap with the metal atoms, so it forms
pi-type bonds.  Chlorine uses s- orbitals to form sigma-type bonds to the
central metal.  Ligands with room in their d-orbitals will form still
different kinds of bonds.  I recommend taking a look at a college freshman
chemistry book (e.g. Zumdahl, "General Chemistry").  Also, look at
high-spin vs. low-spin complexes.



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