Number of Unpaired Electrons

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Nicole Jakiel 4F
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

Number of Unpaired Electrons

Postby Nicole Jakiel 4F » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:25 pm

Can anyone explain why Ni^2+ has two unpaired electrons? I understand how to get its ground state electron configuration, [Ar]3d^8, but I don't understand why it has two unpaired electrons (instead of zero unpaired electrons).

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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 am

Re: Number of Unpaired Electrons

Postby Francis_Nguyen3D » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:37 pm

when you do the electron configuration diagram for 3d^8 three orbitals would be filled out of the five orbitals available. Two orbitals would have only one electron in them-making them unpaired.

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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:25 am

Re: Number of Unpaired Electrons

Postby monikac4k » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:04 pm

The key to this is following Hund's Rule for electron configurations.
We know there are 8 electrons on the 3d subshell.
We also know there are 5 orbitals in the d subshell (5 possible ml values; accommodates 10 electrons).
First, we can place one electron in each of the 5 orbitals. 3d: ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
Now we have 3 left over electrons that we can place in 3 of these orbitals, filling them. 3d: ^v ^v ^v ^ ^
In the end, we are left with two orbitals that have only 1 electron in them.
(Sorry if my visuals are weird and hard to grasp. I tried using ^ and v to signify the different electron spins).

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