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Differences between the triplet and singlet states

  1. Nov 10, 2013 #1
    What are the differences between the triplet and singlet states.

    triplet state-- parallel spins-- S=1 , 2S+1=3
    Singlet state-- Paired spins---S=0 , 2S=1= 1

    singlet state has paired spins of electrons in the same orbit, thus there are repulsion force between the two electron in the same orbit.
    Thus, singlet state is in higher energy than triplet state.

    Apart than this, is there any differences between singlet state and triplet state? For instance, the population, half life, solvent effect and etc.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2013 #2


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    For example, singlet O2 is a lot more reactive than normal triplet O2 and reacts with water to form hydrogen peroxide. Look it up in wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singlet_oxygen .

    I'm not sure about other elements, maybe someone else knows more.
  4. Nov 14, 2013 #3
    Your conclusion is not general. It's not always the case that singlet spin multiplicity is higher in energy than a triplet. The things you listed all depend on the particular case.
  5. Nov 14, 2013 #4
    Half lives from triplet to ground state are longer than singlet to ground state transitions. This is of HUGE importance in fluorescence microscopy.
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