I just had a quiz and struggled on a particular question:

Tungsten forms a $+4$ ion. It is observed to be diamagnetic. The electron configuration for this ion may not be what you would expect. Write the electron configuration for tungsten(IV) that is diamagnetic.

So if tungsten has a configuration of $\ce{[Xe] 6s^1 4f^{14} 5d^5}$ and it loses 4 electrons wouldn't it be $\ce{[Xe] 6s^0 4f^1^4 5d^2}$? And this would be paramagnetic since there are 2 unpaired electrons in the 5d subshell. How could it be diamagnetic?

  • $\begingroup$ Now here’s a hint: ‘The electronic configuration for this ion may not be what you would expect.’ $\endgroup$ – Jan Jan 25 '16 at 22:32
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe the energy difference between 6s and 5d orbitals is very low, leading to a more stable configuration 6s2 (occupied sub-shell). $\endgroup$ – Orr22 Jan 26 '16 at 11:15
  • $\begingroup$ Oddly the NIST database for atomic spectra suggests that the $\ce{W^{4+}}$ ion has the configuration $\mathrm{[Xe](4f)^{14}(5d)^2 }$ and a triplet ground state, which would make it paramagnetic after all. $\endgroup$ – Nicolau Saker Neto Jan 29 '16 at 11:35

The electron configuration for Tungsten is [Xe] 6s2 5d4 4f14. If it were to lose its electrons, and the answer is that it is diamagnetic, then it would lose its 4 d-electrons.


  1. https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-differences-between-paramagnetic-and-diamagnetic-elements
  2. https://www.tabulka.cz/english/elements/configuration.asp?id=74
  3. https://socratic.org/questions/what-are-columbic-and-exchange-energy-and-how-it-it-determined
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    $\begingroup$ Hey Aaron, welcome to Chem.SE! Could you please cite the actual resources, instead of linking to other forums? Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Gaurang Tandon Apr 25 '19 at 17:45
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    $\begingroup$ You have a different electron configuration for the neutral atom than the OP. It would be nice to point that out and comment on it. Also, you should summarize the argument (with citations) rather than just posting links. $\endgroup$ – Karsten Theis Apr 25 '19 at 20:26

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