Answer to Question #86354 in Inorganic Chemistry for Tushar

Question #86354
How can one decide whether the high spun or the low spin configuration of a metal complex will be more stable
Expert's answer

Two main factors determine whether a complex is high spin or low spin: the crystal field splitting energy Δ and the pairing energy P.

If P > Δ, then electrons will move to a higher energy orbital because it takes less energy.

If P < 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 if 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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