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Ligand field theory and f orbitals in magnetism

  1. May 14, 2013 #1
    I've been introduced to ligand-field theory lately and was then wondering what roles f orbitals play in the magnetic properties of elements and alloys. Apparently f orbitals behave oddly in that they hybridize in weird ways because they're so large and that the crystal field actually affects the anisotropy of the f orbitals.

    Are there any resources that I can use to read up on this? Or would a Fermi energy approach be better for a study on magnetism?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2013 #2


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    That's not quite true (maybe leaving aside actinides). f orbitals are inner shell orbitals and are quite compact and well screened from external fields. This can be inferred also experimentally from the very sharp absorption and emission spectra of lanthanide compounds.
    I would also avoid speaking of hybridization (which is valence bond language) in the context of ligand field theory (which is rather a variant of molecular orbital theory).
    I fear I can't help you with literature recommendations.
  4. May 18, 2013 #3
    If you're looking for information on CFT and f orbitals, check out Housecroft's Inorganic Chemistry (specifically the 2nd edition). Chapter 24 is entirely dedicated to the f-block.
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