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Postby Katie_Ho_1M » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:00 pm

I don't quite understand how biradicals can exist. Why don't the two lone electrons just join and become a pair? How do biradicals play a role in the sharing of electrons and bonding of elements?

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Re: Biradicals

Postby Chem_Mod » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:03 pm

Right now we have been talking about atomic orbitals, s, p, d, etc. In a couple chapters we will begin talking about molecular orbitals, which are just combinations of atomic orbitals. In a molecule you can have two (or more) different molecular orbitals with the same energy (degenerate). When each of the two orbitals are occupied by only one electron, you then have a diradical. You cannot pair them since they have the same spin (can't have electrons with all the same quantum numbers) and are in different orbitals to begin with. Similarly, we can think of Hund's rule where we singly occupy atomic orbitals rather than doubly occupying them as we fill them because we have to consider electron-electron repulsion.

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