Ligand Field and Molecular Orbital Theories of Transition Metal X-ray Absorption Edge Transitions

  • Rosalie K. Hocking
  • Edward I. SolomonEmail author
Part of the Structure and Bonding book series (STRUCTURE, volume 142)


Carl Ballhausen made a wide range of seminal contributions to ligand field theory and its application to ground state and ligand field excited state spectroscopies. These provided a fundamental basis for probing the nature of transition metal complexes using their visible spectra and a range of magnetic spectroscopies. The advent of synchrotrons provided access to high flux electromagnetic radiation that could be tuned across a wide range of energies including X-ray. This expanded the scope of spectroscopic techniques available to inculde X-ray Absorption Edge Spectroscopies. Paralleling a visible absorption experiment, X-ray spectra (metal K-edge, i.e. 1s→3d and metal L-edge, i.e. 2p→3d) taken at a synchrotron are dominated by ligand field splittings, electron repulsion effects and covalency. These can be used to obtain important insight into the properties of a diverse range of materials from solar cells to the catalytic centers of metalloenzymes. Herein we systematically consider applications of ligand field theory to X-ray absorption edge transitions.


Ligand-field theory Spectroscopy Magnetism X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Synchrotron Molecular Orbital Theory 



E.I.S. would like to acknowledge NIH GM 040392 and NSF CHE 0948211 grants for funding this research. R.K.H. would like to thank Monash University for a beam-line research fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monash Centre for Synchrotron Science, The Australian Centre for Electromaterials Science and School of ChemistryMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, SLAC, Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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