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Molecular Orbitals of Cu(NH3)42+

The Ligand Field Theory energy diagram for Cu(NH3)42+ is shown below. Clicking on an orbital in the energy diagram displays the 90% isosurface for that orbital in the virtual reality display.

Examine the molecular orbital diagram for NH3 and identify the donor orbital for coordination to metals. (This orbital is the highest occupied molecular orbital.)

The NH3 ligand is not capable of π bonding; thus coordination involves only σ bonding. In addition to the Cu2+ 3d orbitals, the 4d and 4p orbitals are also included in the energy diagram. For this complex, the 4s and 3dz2 orbitals have the same symmetry properties with respect to the ammine ligands. Thus 4s and 3dz2 mixing is possible.

For each molecular orbital

  1. Identify the metal and ligand orbitals that mix to form the molecular orbital.
  2. Identify whether the molecular orbital is σ, σ*, or n in character.
  3. Identify whether the molecular orbital has primarily metal or ligand character.

Write the electron configuration for this complex.

How many unpaired electrons are there?

Is the complex paramagnetic or diamagnetic?

Molecular Orbital Diagram of CuNH3

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The nitrogen atoms lie along the x and y axes.

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NH3     Ag(NH3)2+     Co(NH3)63+     Cu(NH3)42+     Zn(NH3)42+    

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