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What is the ligand field theory and how does it relate to transition metal complexes?

The ligand field theory explains the electronic structure of transition metal complexes.

Transition metal complexes are coordination compounds that contain a central metal ion surrounded by ligands. The ligand field theory explains the electronic structure of these complexes by considering the interaction between the metal ion and the ligands. The ligands create a field of electron density around the metal ion, which affects the energy levels of the metal's d orbitals.

The ligand field theory divides the d orbitals into two sets: the eg set and the t2g set. The eg set contains the dxy, dxz, and dyz orbitals, which point towards the ligands. The t2g set contains the dx2-y2 and dz2 orbitals, which point between the ligands. The ligand field splits the energy levels of the d orbitals, with the eg set being higher in energy than the t2g set.

The ligand field theory also explains the colour of transition metal complexes. When light is absorbed by a complex, electrons are promoted from the t2g set to the eg set. The energy of the absorbed light corresponds to the energy difference between the two sets of orbitals. The colour of the complex is determined by the wavelength of light that is absorbed.

In summary, the ligand field theory explains the electronic structure and colour of transition metal complexes by considering the interaction between the metal ion and the ligands.

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