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ligand field theory

in chemistry, one of several theories that describe the electronic structure of coordination or complex compounds, notably transition metal complexes, which consist of a central metal atom surrounded by a group of electron-rich atoms or molecules called ligands. The ligand field theory deals with the origins and consequences of metal- ligand interactions as a means of elucidating the magnetic, optical, and chemical properties of these compounds.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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