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Hi! It can't be tridentate because CO3 2- is trigonal planar, so the molecule can't reorient itself to bond all three oxygens to the central atom. However, one or two oxygens can bind to the central atom because the molecule won't need to readjust to let that happen.
For a ligand to be a polydentate, do the ligands have to bond to the same transition metal atom or can they bond to different ones? For example, using CO3^2- as an example, if the third oxygen were to bond to another central transition metal atom, would that be tridentate?
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