# Electron count in transition metal complex

• plexus0208
In summary, the conversation discusses the difficulty in finding the total electron count in a transition metal complex without specifying the overall charge or oxidation state. The 18-electron rule is mentioned as a potential method for determining the electron count, but it is not commonly used.
plexus0208
How do I find the total electron count in a transition metal complex? For example, something simple like W(CO)6 or even more complicated like RuH(Cl)(PPh3)3?

(Note: I don't mean "d electron count" [which I know how to find], I mean "total electron count.")

You can't. That's what oxidation numbers are for.

Sure, you might be able to guess; e.g. if one (and only one) oxidation state of tungsten tended to be hexacoodinated. But the short of the long is that if someone hasn't specified the overall charge of the complex or the oxidation state, then they haven't specified the compound.

I am not sure I understand the question.

plexus0208 said:
How do I find the total electron count in a transition metal complex? For example, something simple like W(CO)6 or even more complicated like RuH(Cl)(PPh3)3?

What is "total electron count in a complex"?

W(CO)6 is neutral, so there are 74+6*(12+16) electrons in total (if charge is given just subtract it from the number calculated). Which of those electrons count as "electrons in complex", which don't?

--

Hmm. I've never ever actually used the 18-electron rule for anything.

Which is saying something since my main research topic involves metallo-organic complexes!

## What is the electron count in a transition metal complex?

The electron count in a transition metal complex refers to the total number of electrons present in the complex. This includes both the metal atom and any ligands attached to it.

## How is the electron count in a transition metal complex determined?

The electron count in a transition metal complex is determined by counting the total number of valence electrons of the metal atom, and adding the number of electrons donated by the ligands to form the complex. The sum of these two numbers gives the total electron count.

## Why is the electron count important in transition metal complexes?

The electron count is important in transition metal complexes because it determines the electronic and magnetic properties of the complex. It also plays a crucial role in determining the stability and reactivity of the complex.

## What is the difference between high spin and low spin electron counts in transition metal complexes?

High spin and low spin electron counts refer to the arrangement of electrons in the d-orbitals of the metal atom in a complex. In high spin complexes, the electrons are distributed to maximize the number of unpaired electrons, while in low spin complexes, the electrons are paired to minimize the number of unpaired electrons.

## Can the electron count in a transition metal complex change?

Yes, the electron count in a transition metal complex can change through various reactions, such as oxidation or reduction, which can alter the number of electrons present in the complex. Additionally, different ligands can also affect the electron count by donating or withdrawing electrons from the complex.

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