Foundations of Chemistry

, 11:135

Oxidation number: issues of its determination and range


DOI: 10.1007/s10698-009-9071-z

Cite this article as:
Šima, J. Found Chem (2009) 11: 135. doi:10.1007/s10698-009-9071-z


The paper is aimed at the issues of oxidation state determination and limiting values. The possibility of existence of compounds containing an atom with the oxidation number beyond the current common values, i.e., below −IV and above +VIII are discussed. Three principal modes of preparation of compounds with the oxidation number exceeding VIII, electrochemical anodic oxidation, photoionization, and nuclear β-decay, are evaluated. Failure to prepare compounds containing an atom with the oxidation number below −IV is rationalized. The paper provides an opinion on uncertainties in oxidation state determination in three kinds of compounds: binary compounds, nitrosyl complexes, and compounds containing mutually bonded atoms of the same element. The questions are discussed from the viewpoint of correlation of “man-made” quantities and objective, experimentally obtainable data.


Limits in chemistry Oxidation number range ESCA data Atomic charge Uncertainties in oxidation number 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Inorganic ChemistrySlovak Technical UniversityBratislavaSlovak Republic

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