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Homework Help: Electron configuration of the Ni+

  1. Oct 19, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Which is the electron configuration of the Ni+ ion?

    2. Relevant equations
    Ni : [Ar]4s23d8

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Ni+: [Ar]4s13d8

    Apparently this solution is wrong and should be Ni+: [Ar]3d9 but I do not know why. As far as I know 4s has less energy than 3d so, why does one electron promote from 4s to 3d after one ionization?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2015 #2
    This kind of thing is subtle. The only way to solve this kind of problems is by quantum-mechanical calculations, for example Cowan's old code.

    In hydrogen, all orbitals with the same principle quantum number have (almost) the same energy. But when there are more electrons, the "circular" 3d orbitals are shielded much more than s-electrons, which makes that 4s is filled before 3d in transition metal atoms.

    In heavier atoms, the 3d binding energies are larger than 4s, 4p, 4d, 4f.
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