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Hapticity Definition

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This is a ball and stick representation of the ferrocene molecule.

This is a ball and stick representation of the ferrocene molecule.

Todd Helmenstine
Definition: Hapticity is a term describing how a group of contiguous atoms are bonded to a central atom of a coordination compound. Each atom of the contiguous group is bound once and only once to the central atom.

The hapticity of a compound is the number of contiguous atoms bound to the central atom and is denoted by the greek letter η.
Examples:
Ferrocene is a molecule with two cyclopentadienyl rings bound to a central iron molecule. Since five contiguous carbon atoms are bound to the central iron atom, the hapticity is five. Ferrocene's molecular formula is Fe(η5-(C5H5)2).

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