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Atomic orbitals: 4f wave functions

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

Schematic plot of the 4fx(5z2-r2) (abbreviated as 4fxz2) wave function ψ4fxz2. Blue represents negative values for the wave function and red represents positive values.

The line graph on the left is a plot of values along the x-axis, which is through the "flattened" minor zones. The surface plot on the right shows values of ψ4fxz2 on a slice drawn through the xz plane (y = 0). The red zone at centre left and the blue zone at centre right are the "flattened" more minor zones evident here. The x-direction is the same for both plots.

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.

Links to 4f wave functions

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Document served: Monday 28th September, 2020