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Optical isomerism

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    WOndered why we can't have optical isomers when there are 4 monodentate ligands and one bidentate ligand..

    It is still making a octahedral shape but apparently they do not have an optical isomerism




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    (Original post by arvin_infinity)
    WOndered why we can't have optical isomers when there are 4 monodentate ligands and one bidentate ligand..

    It is still making a octahedral shape but apparently they do not have an optical isomerism




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    To display optical isomerism there must be a non-superimposible mirror image structure.

    Try it out for yourself...
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    (Original post by charco)
    To display optical isomerism there must be a non-superimposible mirror image structure.

    Try it out for yourself...
    I just drew one and it looks as though there is a non-super imposable mirror image
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    The absolute definition is that the molecule must not have a center of inversion or an improper rotational axis. All shapes can be described by a 'point group' which describes all the information about the molecules symmetry.

    This is a branch of a mathematical field called 'group theory', and is well beyond my understanding being only a chemist. It is used in chemistry to simplify many problems to trivial calculations, such as calculating the number and nature of vibrations within a molecule.

    It isn't very hard to get to grips with some of the symmetry operations (eg a plane of symmetry or a rotational axis) and there are many good websites with animations to help visualize them. Try searching molecular symmetry

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Updated: June 8, 2012
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