A2.4 Magnetic Properties of Metal Compounds
  • Paramagnetism: is a property of a substance which has unpaired electrons in its atomic structure allowing it to be drawn into a magnetic field.
  • Diamagnetism: is a property of a substance with paired electrons. It will be repelled by a magnetic field. This is a much weaker effect than paramagnetism therefore paramagnetism will always dominate.
  • d-block elements (transition metals) exhibit paramagnetism most strongly because their ions often have several unpaired electrons. Consider the
    Fe2+\textsf{Fe}^\textsf{2+}
    ,
    Mn2+\textsf{Mn}^\textsf{2+}
    and
    Cu+\textsf{Cu}^\textsf{+}
    ions
    Mn
    2+^{\textsf2+}
    Fe
    3+^{\textsf3+}
    Cu
    +^{+}
    Electronic configuration
    All are
    1s22s22p63s23p6\textsf{1s}^\textsf{2}\textsf{2s}^\textsf{2}\textsf{2p}^\textsf{6}\textsf{3s}^\textsf{2}\textsf{3p}^\textsf{6}
    3d5\textsf{3d}^\textsf{5}
    3d4\textsf{3d}^\textsf{4}
    3d10\textsf{3d}^\textsf{10}
    in the d orbitals
    5 unpaired
    electrons
    3 unpaired electrons
    0 unpaired electrons
    Magnetic property
    Paramagnetic
    Less Paramagnetic
    Diamagnetic
    The magnetic behaviour of the metals themselves requires a much more complicated explanation.
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