Why is PtCl4^2- square planar?

A good general rule is that if you have either square planar or tetrahedral, a low-spin complex generally forms square planar, and a high-spin complex generally forms tetrahedral. Platinum is not an exception to that statement.

To see why, we should consider nickel, which is in the same group, whose complexes are tetrahedral sometimes and square planar other times.

Haven’t Found The Relevant Content? Hire a Subject Expert to Help You With
Why is PtCl4^2- square planar?
Post Your Own Question And Get A Custom Answer
Hire Writer


##”Ni(II)”##’s cationic electron configuration is:

##[Ar]cancel(color(red)(4s^0)) 3d^8##

making it a ##d^8## metal.

With four ligands, the complex can either be tetrahedral or square planar, though not seesaw (with four identical weak-field ligands, why have one axial angle be ##180^@## but all the others be only ##~90^@## or ##~120^@##? It makes more symmetrical sense to distribute the energy more evenly than that).


Now, how its ##d## orbitals fill up (##d_(xy)##, ##d_(xz)##, ##d_(yz)##, ##d_(x^2 – y^2)##, and ##d_(z^2)##) depends on the crystal field-strength of the ligand that binds to it. Thus, we should consider the fact that chloride is a weak-field ligand (weaker than water, which is around the middle of a typical spectrochemical series). Part of it is:

##”I”^− < “Br”^− < “S”^(2−) < “SCN”^− < color(blue)(“Cl”^−) < “NO”_3^− < “N”^(3−) < ####. . . < color(blue)(“H”_2″O”) < . . . < “CN”^− ~~ “C”-=”O”##

That means its electrons generate little repulsion while chloride interacts with nickel, and the ligand-field splitting energy is small. That allows for square planar complexes to form, even though those are higher in energy.


##mathbf(“Pt(II)”)## has a similar electron configuration as ##mathbf(“Ni(II)”)##, also acting as a ##mathbf(d^8)## transition metal.

With platinum complexes, there is just something that promotes square planar more often than nickel complexes form square planar.

Platinum has bigger ##bb(d)## orbitals than nickel does, which can hold more electron density more capably, because the electron density can be more spread out in a larger ##d## orbital.

Therefore, platinum can support a higher-energy structure such as the square planar structure.


A good general rule is that if you have either square planar or tetrahedral, a low-spin complex generally forms square planar, and a high-spin complex generally forms tetrahedral. Platinum is not an exception to that statement.


The ##d## orbitals look like this:

We should recognize that since the ligands lie on the axes:

  • The ##mathbf(d_(x^2 – y^2))## orbitals experience the most repulsions. It is highest in energy.
  • The ##mathbf(d_(xy))## orbitals experience the second most. It is second highest in energy.
  • The ##mathbf(d_(z^2))## orbitals experience the third most if you consider that there is a ring of electron density on the xy-plane. It is a little higher in energy than the ##d_(yz)## and ##d_(xz)## orbitals.
  • The degenerate ##mathbf(d_(xz))## and ##mathbf(d_(yz))## are off the plane of the ligands, so they have the lowest-energy interactions with the ligands.

Thus, the square planar crystal field-splitting diagram is like so:

Calculate the price of your order

Select your paper details and see how much our professional writing services will cost.

We`ll send you the first draft for approval by at
Price: $36
  • Freebies
  • Format
  • Formatting (MLA, APA, Chicago, custom, etc.)
  • Title page & bibliography
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Amendments to your paper when they are needed
  • Chat with your writer
  • 275 word/double-spaced page
  • 12 point Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double, single, and custom spacing
  • We care about originality

    Our custom human-written papers from top essay writers are always free from plagiarism.

  • We protect your privacy

    Your data and payment info stay secured every time you get our help from an essay writer.

  • You control your money

    Your money is safe with us. If your plans change, you can get it sent back to your card.

How it works

  1. 1
    You give us the details
    Complete a brief order form to tell us what kind of paper you need.
  2. 2
    We find you a top writer
    One of the best experts in your discipline starts working on your essay.
  3. 3
    You get the paper done
    Enjoy writing that meets your demands and high academic standards!

Samples from our advanced writers

Check out some essay pieces from our best essay writers before your place an order. They will help you better understand what our service can do for you.

Get your own paper from top experts

Order now

Perks of our essay writing service

We offer more than just hand-crafted papers customized for you. Here are more of our greatest perks.

  • Swift delivery
    Our writing service can deliver your short and urgent papers in just 4 hours!
  • Professional touch
    We find you a pro writer who knows all the ins and outs of your subject.
  • Easy order placing/tracking
    Create a new order and check on its progress at any time in your dashboard.
  • Help with any kind of paper
    Need a PhD thesis, research project, or a two-page essay? For you, we can do it all.
  • Experts in 80+ subjects
    Our pro writers can help you with anything, from nursing to business studies.
  • Calculations and code
    We also do math, write code, and solve problems in 30+ STEM disciplines.

Frequently asked questions

Get instant answers to the questions that students ask most often.

See full FAQ
  • What if I’m dissatisfied with the paper I get?

    The average quality score at our professional custom essay writing service is 8.5 out of 10. The high satisfaction rate is set by our Quality Control Department, which checks all papers before submission. The final check includes:
    • Compliance with initial order details.
    • Plagiarism.
    • Proper referencing.
    If for some reason we happen to leave a mistake unnoticed, you are invited to request unlimited revisions of your custom-written paper. For more information, check our Revision Policy. We will do our best to make your experience with Familiar Essays enjoyable.
  • I need an essay on the same day. Is it something you can do?

    Sure. Our writing company offers a fast service with an 8-hour deadline for orders up to master’s level. Make sure to specify the deadline in the order form and our writers will write a paper within the indicated timeslot. Just proceed to submit your requirements here Once you order a custom-written essay, our managers will assign your order to the well-suited writer, who has the best skills and experience for preparing your specific assignment. You can also request one of these extra features:
    • Choose the Writer’s Samples option – study 3 randomly-provided pages from orders that have been written by the assigned writer.
    • Request a specific writer – choose an academic writer from the dropdown list in the order’s form (optional for returning customers).
    You can be sure that your custom writing order will be accomplished by one of our 400+ professional academic writers. They all pass a series of tests to prove their writing prowess and hold the reputation of being the most professional in the industry. Want to make sure writer’s skills match your needs? Get more details on how to choose the appropriate author.
  • How can I be sure your writing service is not a scam?

    We understand that a shade of mistrust has covered the paper writing industry, and we want to convince you of our loyalty. Apart from high-quality writing services, we offer:
    • The chances of students to boost writing skills in a quick and effective way.
    • The opportunity to manage studies and free time in an enjoyable manner.
    • The possibilities to improve overall academic performance.
    Our custom writing company has been working for more than 12 years and always puts quality and clients’ needs first. Our operations are legally documented, we are easily accessible online and offline,
  • Is it legal to use your professional writing service?

    Yes. Custom writing help is not prohibited by any university or college. It’s a 100% legal way of getting professional assistance with paper writing. Hiring writers from an essay writing company is in many ways similar to consulting a tutor – we help you solve the writing issues at hand.
  • How does your service work?

    Our custom writing service is a reliable solution on your academic journey that will always help you if your deadline is too tight. You fill in the order form with your basic requirements for a paper: your academic level, paper type and format, the number of pages and sources, discipline, and deadline. Then, you describe the specific details of the paper you need: add the topic, write or paste the instructions, and attach files to be used, if you have them. After that, an online customer support representative chooses the best writer that specializes in your discipline and assigns him or her to complete the paper according to your requirements. When the paper is ready, we check it for plagiarism and send it to you. If you want to change something, you can request a free revision.
See full FAQ

Take your studies to the next level with our experienced specialists

Live ChatWhatsApp