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Topic: Why is O2 diradical?  (Read 7000 times)

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Offline alex.padmore

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Why is O2 diradical?
« on: February 25, 2008, 04:42:38 PM »
Hi,

Just wondering if someone could explain to me why O2 is diradical.

Cheers,

Alex

Online Yggdrasil

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Re: Why is O2 diradical?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2008, 07:44:06 PM »
It has to do with the molecular orbital diagram of oxygen (see link below).  The last two electrons go into a degenerate set of antibonding pi orbitals and, following Hund's rule, you have two unpaired electrons instead of a pair of electrons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_orbital_diagram#Dioxygen_MO_diagram

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