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13.2.6 Explain why some complexes of d-block elements are coloured IB Chemistry HL

When ligands datively covalently bond to the central transition metal ion (or atom) the d-orbitals in this metal are split. If any one of these d-orbitals is partially filled then electronic transitions will result in a coloured complex. Phew -- if there is at least one electron in a box in the d-orbital of the metal ion then it will be coloured (not white,black or colourless). So Cu+ is not coloured (it has a full d-orbital), but Cu2+ has a colour (3d9 has a partially filled d-orbital). Dr Atkinson was only lightly broken and has now clearly labeled the He and Xe gas tanks.
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