Submitted by Maggie Geselbracht / Reed College on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 02:44

Here's another older poll on VIPEr that is probably invisible to most users (since it does not appear when you look under Polls on the left nav bar):  Do you teach Tanabe-Sugano diagrams to your undergraduates?  I'm curious to see more VIPEr users vote in this poll and post a comment to stimulate more discussion.



Chip Nataro / Lafayette College
Yep. I think there is use to giving the students some exposure to them. I think Housecroft and Sharpe (augmentented with a little Miessler and Tarr) do a pretty good job of 'here they are, here is what you can do with the less complex ones and on to the next topic'.
Tue, 11/16/2010 - 09:48 Permalink
Sossi dishakjian / Lebanese University

The reduction of B from its free ion values, reported in terms of the nephelauxetic parameter is a very important concept in transition metal complexes, and I think Tanabe-Sugano diagrams are the best tools to enable students to grasp the concept.


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 16:55 Permalink
Jason D'Acchioli / University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Hi all,

 I do use T-S diagrams in my advanced course. I think they tie in beautifully with electronic states of molecules, and why we see X number of transitions in absorption spectra. I shy away from calculating the B value, or any of the other Racah parameters. I find Housecroft and Sharpe to do a good job, supplemented by R.L. Carter's group theory book, Drago, and Figis. 



Fri, 01/07/2011 - 16:09 Permalink
Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College
I never learned them (they were in my undergrad course, but they were lost on me then) and don't really teach a lot of spectroscopy in my course.  I could be convinced to, but then I'd have to cut something else that I love.....
Fri, 01/07/2011 - 19:57 Permalink
James McGarrah / Bakersfield College
I would love to T-S diagrams, but it does not get taught until Inorganic II which is not a required class in our program.  I have convinced the chair to offer Inorganic II twice now.  Both times the class was cancelled by the dean because of under enrollment.
Thu, 01/20/2011 - 22:18 Permalink
Lori Watson / Earlham College
I'm about with Chip--I spend part of a day on them and then move on.  When they appear in the primary lit we read (occasionally) I'll point them out again and reexplain.  I'm thinking of incorporating more of them into a lab next time I teach inorganic...  Maybe someone who likes them and teaches them regularly could make a 5-slides about and post it?
Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:49 Permalink
Sheila Smith / University of Michigan- Dearborn

I've always done at least a day on them with an in class exercise (rulers and all); my students are very frustrated by the exercise and I have decided to drastically cut the content this year, although I find I can't let it go completely since I do a tremendous amount of spectroscopy in my course. (Sorry, Adam but I'm one of those "pretty colors"  inorganic chemists)

Sheila SmithAssociate Professor of ChemistryUniversity of Michigan- Dearborn313-583-6399(office)734-788-8144 (cell) 

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 21:14 Permalink
Jim Goll / Edgewood College
I don't do them at all. I look at what I see in the research literature with repect to spectroscopy and teach based on that parameter.
Fri, 02/18/2011 - 10:14 Permalink
Iserlohn / Ryerson University

I have a question regarding tanabe-sugano calculations. Is there ever a reason to break the convention of finding the best fit ratio for a high spin complex on the low-spin side? I found an article where they did that for a d6 high sipn complex.

It's in figure 4 

Thank you. 

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 14:08 Permalink
Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College


I'd love to see your TS diagram in-class activity posted on VIPEr one of these days.... I have decided that I need to put in a bit more UV-Vis in my course.  I came very close to doing it this year but didn't.  Next time I teach it, I will be putting it in.


Mon, 03/21/2011 - 12:30 Permalink
Sheila Smith / University of Michigan- Dearborn

No!  You guys finally convinced me to take it out!  I did much less on TS Diagrams this year. 


Wed, 04/06/2011 - 20:27 Permalink
Sibrina Collins / Marburger STEM Center (MSC) at Lawrence Technological University

Greetings Colleagues,

Do you cover microstates in significant detail? How important is this topic for undergraduates? I learned about this topic as a graduate student, not as an undergrad. I took one inorganic course as an undergraduate and it focused solely on main group chemistry, which is not how I teach my course.


Fri, 04/29/2011 - 12:03 Permalink
Chip Nataro / Lafayette College
I teach microstates as a way to undo the damage done by p-chemists. I didn't see it as an undergrad either, but feel that it is reasonably important enough to cover it. Although it may be on the chopping block as I rework my courses.
Fri, 04/29/2011 - 14:44 Permalink
Amanda Reig / Ursinus College

This is in response to Omar's question about the "Chemical Educator" article.  There were some serious errors in the initial version of that paper (which is the link you provided).  There was an errata and a revised version was published in 2008 that is corrected to note that the complexes are low spin (so using the low spin side of the TS diagrams is correct).  You need a subscription to see the revised version of the article.  I actually ran that lab (slightly modified) this year.

While the good ol' ruler is lots of fun, this website actually provides a nice interface for finding all the necessary values to complete such calculations.  It is certainly likely to be more accurate than the ruler method.  Clicking anywhere on the diagram brings up all the tabulated values.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 17:29 Permalink
Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College
I don't teach microstates, but this year, for the first time, I thought (for about 5 seconds) about putting them in my UV-Vis unit.  But first I'd have to include a UV-Vis unit.  I came very close to adding it this year, and I see it on the horizon after sabbatical.
Fri, 04/29/2011 - 23:45 Permalink
Sheila Smith / University of Michigan- Dearborn
OK-  I have (as requested ) added an in class exercise for Teaching Tanabe Sugano Diagrams.  Just the basics... I've essentially boiled it down to an exercise in graphical analysis. 
Mon, 05/16/2011 - 21:29 Permalink
Anne Bentley / Lewis & Clark College

Thanks, Sheila.  I teach UV-vis right at the end of our inorganic course, and most years we do reach T-S diagrams but have only enough time to get everyone thoroughly confused/overwhelmed before the course comes to an abrupt halt.  I do teach microstates (because I like them a lot), and students often have an "ah ha" moment where their previous pchem knowledge crystallizes.  (This only because seeing something for the second time helps.) 

This year we have the luxury of a half-day to get some T-S practice, so I'm looking forward to using Sheila's activity and the website that Amanda sent.

Tue, 04/30/2013 - 18:56 Permalink
Claude Mertzenich / Luther College

Anyone teaching the "nephelauxetic effect"?

It seems to me that using the MO approach to bonding in octahedral complexes negates the need to discuss this topic.

What do you think?

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 18:31 Permalink
Robert Q. Topper / Cooper Union

This is something that usually gets  crowded out of a very busy semester. If I had a two-semester inorganic sequence  I'd certainly include them, though. 

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 14:10 Permalink