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The d-block, with the d standing for "diffuse" and azimuthal quantum number 2, is in the middle of the periodic table and encompasses elements from groups 3 to 12; it starts in the 4th period. Periods from the fourth onwards have a space for ten d-block elements. Most or all of these elements are also known as transition metals because they occupy a transitional zone in properties, between the strongly electropositive metals of groups 1 and 2, and the weakly electropositive metals of groups 13 to 16. Group 3 or group 12, while still counted as d-block metals, are sometimes not counted as transition metals because they do not show the chemical properties characteristic of transition metals as much, for example, multiple oxidation states and coloured compounds.

The d-block elements are all metals and most have one or more chemically active d-orbital electrons. Because there is a relatively small difference in the energy of the different d-orbital electrons, the number of electrons participating in chemical bonding can vary. The d-block elements have a tendency to exhibit two or more oxidation states, differing by multiples of one. The most common oxidation states are +2 and +3. Chromium, iron, molybdenum, ruthenium, tungsten, and osmium can have formal oxidation numbers as low as −4; iridium holds the singular distinction of being capable of achieving an oxidation state of +9.

The d-orbitals (four shaped as four-leaf clovers, and the fifth as a dumbbell with a ring around it) can contain up to five pairs of electrons.

Periodic table
H   He
Li Be   B C N O F Ne
Na Mg   Al Si P S Cl Ar
K Ca Sc   Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se Br Kr
Rb Sr Y   Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I Xe
Cs Ba La Ce Pr Nd Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl Pb Bi Po At Rn
Fr Ra Ac Th Pa U Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No Lr Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds Rg Cn Nh Fl Mc Lv Ts Og
Alkali metals Alkaline earth metals Lanthanoids Actinoids Transition metals Other metals Metalloids Other nonmetals Halogens Noble gases

Chemistry Encyclopedia



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