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Electron count in transition metal complex

  1. Nov 29, 2009 #1
    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.")
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2009 #2


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    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.
  4. Nov 30, 2009 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    I am not sure I understand the question.

    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?

  5. Nov 30, 2009 #4
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  6. Nov 30, 2009 #5


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    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!
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