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Polydentate ligands

Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:02 pm
by Alan Wu
How do we precisely know if a ligand is polydentate? For example, the O in water has 2 lone pairs of electrons, but it is monodentate. Then oxalate has 4 Os, each with 2 lone pairs of electrons, but it is bidentate. Why is that the case?

Re: Polydentate ligands

Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 7:03 pm
by Ethan Lam 4A
A ligand is polydentate if it has more than one bonding atom. H20 is a monodentate despite having two electron pairs because the molecule is not long enough to reach the other bonding site of the metal. Oxalate is bidentate because it can only reach around the metal in two bonding sites.