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Atomic orbitals: 4f electron density

This page addresses the 4fxz2 and 4fyz2 electron density functions, both of which are only in the general set of 4f orbitals. See below for links to images of the electron densities of the other 4f orbitals.

"Dot-density" plot of the 4fx(5z2-r2) (abbreviated as 4fxz2) electron density function ψ4fx(5z2-r2) (or ψ4fxz2). Blue represents negative values for the wave function and red represents positive values. The shape of this orbital is quite subtle. Only four of the lobes are identical in terms of their shape. The remaining two are a little thinner. Can you pick these out? It may be easier to see on the ray-traced electron density images.

This page displays the electron density of the 4fxz2 orbital as a "dot-density" diagram. High density of dots in a region denotes high electron density.

The 4fxz2 and 4fxz2 orbitals are identical in appearance and differ only in direction. One can be mapped to the other by a 90° rotation about the z-axis. This is best seen when viewing both together.

Using JSmol

You can use your mouse to manipulate the "orbital" in the "JSmol" image above.

  • Click on the JSmol text in the above diagram to show a popup menu.
  • To rotate about the x and y directions, drag mouse around the image
  • To rotate about the z direction (which comes out of the screen towards you), hold shift and drag mouse horizontally
  • To zoom, hold shift key down and drag mouse vertically
  • To reset the image, hold down shift key and double click ony part of the image not containing dots

Links to 4f electron "dot-density" functions

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The Orbitron is a gallery of orbitals on the WWW

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Copyright 2002-2015 Prof Mark Winter [The University of Sheffield]. All rights reserved.
Document served: Monday 28th September, 2020