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Table 3

The complex ion, [CoCl4]2-, has a coordination number equal to 4. The structure of [CoCl4]2- might be:

tetrahedral - ligands attached at the corners of a tetrahedron

square planar - ligands attached at the corners of a square

Tetrahedral geometries predominate. However, for transition metal ions with nd8 electron configuration such as Ni2+, Pd2+, Pt2+, Rh2+, Ir+, Au3+,  and for the 3d9 electron configuration Cu2+ the square planar configuration dominates. This is due to the requirement of involving only one of the d-orbitals, dx2-y2, which has four lobes pointing to all four ligands. The [CoCl4]2- complex ion is experimentally known to have a tetrahedral structure.

.

A Comparison of Tetrahedral and Square Planar Structures

Example

sketch

model

[CoCl4]2- tetrahedral CN = 4

[Ni(CN)4]2- square planar CN = 4

Linear and octahedral are the most common structures for coordination numbers 2 and 6, respectively.

A Comparison of Linear and Octahedral Structures

Example

sketch

model

[Ag(NH3)2]+ linear CN = 2

[PtCl6]2- octahedral CN = 6

.

= Ni

= N

= H

       [Ni(NH3)6]2+

[Ni(NH3)6]2+

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