A Guided Inquiry Activity for Teaching Ligand Field Theory

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Chemistry | Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Higher Education | Inorganic Chemistry | Physical Sciences and Mathematics


This paper will describe a guided inquiry activity for teaching ligand field theory. Previous research suggests the guided inquiry approach is highly effective for student learning. This activity familiarizes students with the key concepts of molecular orbital theory applied to coordination complexes. Students will learn to identify factors that affect the ligand field splitting diagram for octahedral and other common geometries. In addition, students use this understanding of ligand field theory to explain the properties of transition metal complexes. This activity could be used in an advanced inorganic chemistry course or at a different level.