From wiki page about valence electrons:

An atom with a closed shell of valence electrons (corresponding to an electron configuration $s^2p^6$ for main group elements or $d^{10}s^2p^6$ for transition metals) tends to be chemically inert.

My question is, which are the transition metals with $d^{10}s^2p^6$? Looking at the periodic table, I do not see anyone.

After this paragraph, wiki says that valence orbitals for d-block elements (transition metals) are (see table):

ns (n-1)d np

I though one of the characteristics of transition metals is that they do not have electrons in last p orbital.


2 Answers 2


Your premise Wikipedia's statement about transition metals seems to be flawed.

(1) It isn't possible to have a transition metal that has the electronic structure $\mathrm{(n-1)d^{10} ns^2np^6}$. Such an electronic structure would imply a noble gas.

(2) Gold $\mathrm{[Xe]4f^{14} 5d^{10} 6s^1}$ and platinum $\mathrm{[Xe]4f^{14} 5d^{9} 6s^1}$ are the most noble metals and neither even has a $\mathrm{(n-1)d^{10} ns^2}$ configuration.

Granted these configurations are for the free atom, not the bulk metal...

  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry, but I do not understand this answer. You cite a phrase not in the question nor in the wiki page, where is it from ? Moreover, answer starts by "your premise". About what premise are you talking ? $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2021 at 9:50
  • $\begingroup$ @pasabaporaqui - I tried to clarify the answer. I'm not sure what you meant by You cite a phrase not in the question nor in the wiki page, where is it from ? $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    Jan 13, 2021 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. At least in my computer, the phrase "Granted these configurations ..." appears as a citation (gray bar at left). But I do not see the source of this cite. $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2021 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ @pasabaporaqui - the phrase "Granted these configurations ..." is from my own knowledge, not a quote. I don't understand your confusion. Atoms in a bulk metal are bonded together, they are not free atoms. $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    Jan 13, 2021 at 20:27

The zinc atom $\ce{Zn}$ has the configuration $\ce{(Ar) 3d^{10} 4s^2}$ or, if you prefer : $\ce{1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 3d^{10} 4s^2 }$. The same final configuration is repeated with the cadmium atom $\ce{Cd}$, and with the mercury atom $\ce{Hg}$. Is it not what you are looking for ?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Zinc does not seem to be inert ... . $\endgroup$ Jan 12, 2021 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Oscar Lanzi. I agree. Of course zinc is not inert. But the question was not about the element to be inert or not. The question was whether a metal does exist with the configuration $d^{10} s^2 p^6$. $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Jan 13, 2021 at 10:18
  • $\begingroup$ Wiki seems (?) to talk about a (n-1)d ns np configuration, that could have relation with closed shell and inert atom. The examples on this answer seems to be about "(n-1)p (n-1)d ns" $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2021 at 19:07

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