Submitted by Flick Coleman / Wellesley College on Fri, 03/13/2009 - 20:54
My Notes

I developed this Jmol page to help my students see the relationship(s) between the ligands and metal d-orbitals in a number of different geometries.  Since the images are all rotatable, students who have difficulty looking at flat images and drawing appropriate conclusions have that barrier reduced or eliminated.  I have now used the application twice - this past fall in the second semester of introductory chemistry and a few weeks ago when I began ligand field theory in my inorganic course.  In both classes I received favorable comments.  A number of students in the inorganic course, who had not had me in previous courses, remarked that they wish that they had seen this in their introductory course.



(Note that the link above has been updated to the current correct link by Anthony Fernandez on 12 December 2018.)

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Maggie Geselbracht / Reed College
My students just spent a conference class yesterday figuring out the crystal field splitting diagrams for different coordination geometries.  I had explained the crystal field model with octahedral geometry on Monday as an introduction.  Not surprisingly, I find that the best way to see if they really understand the model is to have them practice applying it.  Several students were asking me if there were any tools to help them visualize the pictures they were trying to draw in 3-D.  Voila!  I remembered Flick's resource and have now posted a link from my course Moodle.  A big thank you!
Wed, 04/22/2009 - 13:09 Permalink
Anthony L. Fernandez / Merrimack College

It is too bad that this link is no longer valid.  My students would use this website to help them visualize the potential interactions between the d-orbitals on a metal and the ligand.

You can find it captured on the Internet Wayback Machine (, but I am having a slight issue in getting it to run.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:49 Permalink
Flick Coleman / Wellesley College

Hi Anthony and others.  Since retiring I have changed my server and the site you were looking for is now at  This new version, and all of my other Jmol materials, are now in the HTML5/Javascript JSmol, which does not use Java and works on most mobiles (all that I have tried) as well as tablets and real computers.





William F. Coleman
Professor Emeritus of Chemistry
Wellesley College

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 14:43 Permalink
Anthony L. Fernandez / Merrimack College
Thanks for updating this! My students will thank you for it!
Mon, 03/17/2014 - 20:53 Permalink
Anne Bentley / Lewis & Clark College

Great!  There's another animation I've been looking for, and I think it's yours, too.  It shows how the atomic orbital energies of two atoms (A and B) affect the position of the MO's they form.  Has that been stashed in a similar new spot?

Thanks - these are all very helpful animations.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 17:10 Permalink
Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College

the link for the "how atomic orbitals change as energy levels shift" has been updated on the original LO.

Wed, 12/31/2014 - 12:34 Permalink
Suzanne Sherman / New College of Florida

This is a fabulous tool.  Thank you!

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 17:18 Permalink