What are transition metals and what specifically happens to transition metals that result in solutions that give off distinct colors?
Properties of Transition Metals:
In addition to forming colored solutions and compounds, transition metals have the following properties:
- They can often act as catalysts in chemical reactions.
- They have interesting magnetic properties that vary with their electron configurations.
- They generally are less reactive, stronger and have higher melting points than Group 1 and Group 2 metals.
Answer and Explanation: 1
Transition metals are elements in the d-block of the periodic table (groups 3 to 12) whose ions have incomplete d-sublevels.
When a transition metal ion is in a solution, ligands form dative covalent bonds with the them. The electrostatic interactions cause the d-sublevel to split. The energy difference between the split d-level orbitals corresponds to energy in the visible spectrum. This results in the electrons absorbing certain wavelengths of light that pass through the solution, while letting others pass. The color of the solution is the complementary color to the wavelength absorbed.
Learn more about this topic:
fromChapter 6 / Lesson 9
Explore d-block elements. Learn the definition of a d-block element and understand its various properties. Discover the electron configuration of d-block elements.