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Cover Making the Transition to University Chemistry

Transition Metals 2  

This chapter focuses on the first row of transition metals ranging from tin to copper. It clarifies how scandium and zinc are not transition metals due to their oxidation states and d subshells. The group has d-block elements with at least one stable ion that has a partially-filled d subshell. Transition metals showcase variable oxidation states. An acidic solution with a reductant can reduce a transition metal ion, while an alkaline solution with an oxidant could oxidize a transition metal. The stability of the high oxidation states can be significantly increased in alkaline solutions. The chapter also notes how transition metals are often used as catalysts.


Cover Chemical Structure and Reactivity

Transition metals  

This chapter assesses the d-block elements, which form Groups 3–11 and are collectively often referred to as the transition metals. The common feature of these elements is the presence of a partially filled d sub-shell. It is the presence of this partly filled shell which is responsible for most of the special properties which set the transition metals apart from main-group metals. These special properties include: the existence of compounds in which a particular element shows a range of oxidation states; the presence of unpaired electrons associated with the metal; the formation of coloured compounds and solutions; the formation of a large number of complexes in which the metal is surrounded by typically between four and six electron-donating ligands; and the formation of organometallic complexes in which the ligands have π systems. The chapter focuses mainly on transition metal complexes.