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How do qualitaitve analysis work?

by jd12345
Tags: analysis, qualitaitve, work
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Apr12-12, 11:38 AM
P: 260
I usually see a specific functional group is reacted with a transition metal to forma complex producing bright colours - and we distinguish groups based on such reactions and colours

But the complex will be formed with any nucleophile ( ligand ) right?. Example:- cerric ammonium test is done for alcohols. IT forms a complex with alcohol as the the -OH group acts as a ligand producing red colour.
But this red colour will be formed with any nucleophile as any other ligand can form the complex.

Same with other functional groups. I dont see how complex formation distinguishes these functional groups
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Apr13-12, 02:21 AM
Borek's Avatar
P: 23,578
Different ligands produce different colors (please read about crystal field theory), correctly selecting the transition metal and conditions it is possible to make the reaction quite specific.

But I suppose false positives are possible in some cases.

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