# Explanation of metallic crystal structures using orbitals and electron configuration

There has to be a direct relation between metallic crystal structure formation and electrons in orbitals. For instance, we know that Fe2+ forms body centered cubic or bcc structure with the coordination number of 8, which means each Fe atom bonds with 8 others after getting rid of the two electrons in the 4S orbital.

The electron configuration of one Fe2+ would look as follows:

1s2 2s22p6 3s23p63d6

The problem is, that I do not see how Fe2+ would react with 8 others, based on the electron configuration and the octet rule, to form bcc structure.

• $\ce{Fe^2+}$ might form virtually any crystal structure depending on the anionic part. And no, there is no direct relationship between the electronic configuration of a single atom and the crystal structure it takes a part of (at least, I'm not aware of any). – andselisk May 6 at 10:27
• I second that. There is no relation. – Ivan Neretin May 6 at 11:08
• @IvanNeretin maybe I should rephrase that. I mean the relation between the electronic configuration and coordination number, because there is a direct one. – vahidseo May 6 at 11:21
• There is no matter and nothing to discuss. You can't look at the electronic structure and deduce crystal structure, period. Then again, you may find a good deal of papers on crystal structure prediction, but they deal with the subject at an entirely different complexity level. – Ivan Neretin May 6 at 12:12
• In solid state physics, generally one does not care a whole lot about the atomic electronic structure. – Jon Custer May 6 at 13:03