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ERIC Number: EJ1031407
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Assigning Oxidation States to Organic Compounds via Predictions from X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy: A Discussion of Approaches and Recommended Improvements
Gupta, Vipul; Ganegoda, Hasitha; Engelhard, Mark H.; Terry, Jeff; Linford, Matthew R.
Journal of Chemical Education, v91 n2 p232-238 Feb 2014
The traditional assignment of oxidation states to organic molecules is problematic. Accordingly, in 1999, Calzaferri proposed a simple and elegant solution that is based on the similar electronegativities of carbon and hydrogen: hydrogen would be assigned an oxidation state of zero when bonded to carbon. Here, we show that X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, a core electron spectroscopy that is sensitive to oxidation states of elements, generally agrees with his suggestion. We also list the typical (IUPAC) rules for assigning oxidation states, review recent suggestions of Loock and Steinborn that are based on Pauling's earlier approach, discuss the traditional (IUPAC and Pauling-Loock-Steinborn) assignments of oxidation states to organic molecules, review Calzaferri's suggestion, introduce X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), show the general agreement of Calzaferri's suggestion with XPS results, provide supporting examples from the literature, and discuss the limitations of Calzaferri's recommendation vis-à-vis XPS results. We conclude by recommending that either (i) Calzaferri's suggestion be implemented into the current IUPAC rules or (ii) the Loock definition be explanded to deal specifically with atoms with similar electronegativities.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A