This is an In class exercise on the subject of Ligand Field theory. It reviews nomenclature and introduces ideas of ligand field splitting and spin in transition metal complexes. It includes both a worksheet for classroom use, a worksheet key which includes some information not on the student worksheet .
A student should be able to name a coordination complex based on a structure including the determination of the metal oxidation state. A student should be able to determine the number of d electrons in a coordination complex. A student should be able to draw an orbital energy diagram for a metal ion in an octahedral ligand field. A student should be able to qualitatively evaluate whether a coordination complex will be high spin or low spin based on trends in metal size, oxidation state and ligand field strength (position of the ligand in the spectrochemical series). A student should be able to quantitatively evaluate whether a complex will be high spin or low spin based on ligand field stabilization energy (given appropriate values for DeltaO and Pairing energy. A student should be able to determine qualitatively whether a complex is paramagnetic or diamagnetic. A student should be able to determine quantitatively the spin-only contribution to the magnetic moment of a complex.
Students turn in completed worksheets at the end of the class period. Students are tested on similar written exam material.
The best evaluation of this exercise is the richness of the discussion that it generates. In allowing students to connect previously learned material to new ideas of spin in complexes, the exercise builds an understanding of the complexities of configurations in coordination complexes.