Answer to Question #84588 in Inorganic Chemistry for adarsh

Question #84588
How can one decide whether the high spin or the low spin configuration of a metal complex will be more stable? Elaborate.
Expert's answer

Whether a complex is high spin or low spin depends on two main factors: the crystal field splitting energy Δ and the pairing energy P. The electrons will take the path of least resistance-the path that requires the least amount of energy. If the pairing energy P is greater than Δ, then electrons will move to a higher energy orbital because it takes less energy. If the pairing energy P is less than Δ, then the electrons will pair up rather than moving singly to a higher energy orbital.

To predict the value of Δ we should determine from the spectrochemical series is the ligand observed is strong field or weak field.

Spectrochemical series

(weak) I < Br < S2− < SCN < Cl < NO3− < N3− < F < OH < C2O42- ≈ H2O <

NCS < CH3CN < py < NH3 < en < bipy < phen < NO2 < PPh3 < CN ≈ CO (strong)

If ligand is strong field, then P<Δo and we should expect a low spin complex to be formed.

If ligand is weak field, then P>Δo and we should expect a high spin complex to be formed.

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