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D Block Elements

Last updated date: 13th Jul 2024
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D Block Elements – Classification

The periodic table and its elements are an important part of chemistry, there are a total of 118 elements that we need to study. The periodic table doesn't represent the full names of the elements; rather they only display the symbol of the element like C, H, N, E, and so on. The symbol can be by the name of the element or its Latin root. Initially, students may find it difficult to remember all the elements. To make it simple for you to learn about the elements of the periodic table, the subject experts at Vedantu have compiled this article. 

This section is also very essential for competitive exams like JEE Mains, Advance, and NEET. Thus to enhance your level of preparation and scores follow the full article. 

Table of Content

  • An introduction

  • What is a D-block element?

  • Classification

  • Electronic Configuration

  • Properties

  • Charge Transfer Transition

  • Trends in Transition Metal Oxidation State

  • Frequently asked questions

An Introduction

The periodic table is  an important part of chemistry, there are a total of 118 elements of the periodic table. The periodic table doesn't represent the full names of the elements; it only displays the symbol of the element, for example - O, C, H, Fe, Mg, etc. The symbols are denoted by the name of the element or its Latin root. 

What are D-block Elements?

The D-block elements are also known as the transition elements. The IUPAC defines these transition metals as an element whose atom has a particularly filled d subshell or which can give rise to citations with uncompleted subshells.

Transition metals are defined by scientists as an element in the d-block of the periodic table. This includes groups 3 to 12 on the periodic table. The F block lanthanide, actual, and actinide series are also considered transition metals and are called inner transition metals.

Wilkinson and Cotton expanded the brief IUPAC definition by specifying which of the elements are included. The elements of groups 4 to 11 and yttrium and scandium in group 3 have partially filled d subshells in the metallic state. Actinium and lanthanum in group 3 are classified as lanthanides and actinides respectively.

Charles Bury, an English chemist, first used the word transition in this context in 1921 when he referred to a transition series of elements during the change in the inner layer of electrons from a stable group of 8 to one of 18 or from 18 to 32. 

These elements are known as the d block elements.


The atoms of elements have between one and ten d electrons in the d block:



The elements of group 11 to 4 are generally recognized as transition metals. The name justifies their typical chemistry that is a complex ion’s huge range in various oxidation state coloured complexes and catalytic properties either as the element or as ions. Y and SC in group3  are also generally recognised as the transition metals. The elements like La-Lu and Ac-Lr and group 12 attract different definitions from different authors. 

Few metals excluded from the list of transition metals are zinc, cadmium and mercury as they have electronic configuration of d10 and s2

Electronic Configuration

The electronic configuration of d block elements is (n-1)d1-10n s0-2. The period 7 and 6 transition metals also add (n-2)f0-14 electrons, which are omitted from the table below. 

The Madelung rule predicts that the typical transition metal atom electrons can be written as ns2(n-1)dm, where the inner d orbital is predicted to be filled after valence shell orbital is filled. The rule is approximated that it only holds for some of the transition elements and then in their neutral ground state.

The next to last subshell is the d subshell and is denoted as (n-1)d subshell. In the outermost subshell, the number of electrons is generally one or two except palladium, with no electron in that subshell in its ground state. In the valence shell, the s subshell is represented as the ns subshell. The transition metals in the periodic table are presented in the eighth group or in 3 or 12.


Transition metals share a number of properties elements that are not found in the other elements, which results from partially filled d shells. These include the following:

  • The compound whose colors are formed due to d-d electronic transition.

  • In many oxidation states, compound formation occurs due to the relatively low energy gap between different possible oxidation states.

  • The formation of many paramagnetic compounds due to the unpaired electron presence. Main group elements and few compounds are also paramagnetic.

  • Most of the transition metals can be bound to a variety of ligands allowing for a wide variety of transition metal complexes.

  • Coloured compounds: These compounds are generally due to the electronic configuration of  principal type:

Charge Transfer Transition 

An electron may jump from a predominantly legendary orbit to a metal orbit. It gives rise to a ligand to metal charge transfer transition. Coloured compounds may generally occur when the metal is in a higher oxidation state. For example, the color of dichromate and chromate and paramagnet ions due to the transition. 

A charge transfer from metal to ligand will be most likely when the metal is in the low oxidation state and the ligand is easily reduced.

Generally, the charge transfer ligand results in a more intense color than the d-d transition.

Trends in Transition Metal Oxidation State

The ionization energies that are a similar and relatively small increase in successive ionization energies lead to the formation of metal ions with the same charge of many transition metals. This, in turn, results in extensive horizontal similarities in chemistry which are most noticeable for the first-row transition metals and for the actinides and lanthanides. All the first row transitions except for Sc form stable compounds that have the 2+ ions. This is due to the small difference between the second and third ionization energy for all these elements except Zn from the stable compounds that contain 3+ ions. In successive ionization, the relatively small increase causes most of the transition metals to exhibit multiple oxidation states separated by a single electron.

For example, manganese forms compounds in every oxidation state between -3 and +7. Because of the steady but slow ionization potential across a row, a higher oxidation state becomes progressively low or less stable for the elements on the right side of the d block. The multiple oxidation state occurrence which gets separated by a single electron causes many compounds of the transition metal to be paramagnetic with one to five unpaired electrons. 

FAQs on D Block Elements

1. Define the Common Oxidation State of D Block Elements?

The d block elements are also known as the transition metals. One of the two elements is scandium which is in the 1st transition metal period and which has only one oxidation state (zins is the other one with an oxidation state of +2). All the other elements which are present in the block have at least two different oxidation states.

2. Explain Why D Block Elements are Paramagnetic?

The d block elements are known as paramagnetic because unpaired electrons in (n-1)d orbitals are responsible for the magnetic properties. The character of paramagnetic of the transition metal increases on moving from left to right and as the number of unpaired electrons increases from one to five.

3. List Some Properties of the D Block Elements

There are many properties which they possess including Metallic nature, boiling and melting points, ionic radii, atomic densities and volume, ionizing potential, electronic configuration and oxidation state.

4. Why do Block Elements Act as Good Catalysts?

The compounds of transition metals and itself the transition metal functions as a catalyst either because of their ability to change oxidation state or, in the case of the metals, to absorb other substances onto their surfaces and activate them in the process. All these are explored in the main catalyst section.

5. What are the transitional elements?

D-block is called transitional elements as they show transitional behavior between S-block and P-block. As they are transitional from S-block which are highly reactive metallic elements and which are ionic in nature to the P-block that are covalent in nature. Thus because of this transition metal in the D-block, it is referred to as a transitional element. 

6. How to remember all the elements in the D-block?

It is important to remember the elements of the block of the periodic table. As there are 40 elements in the D-block, it might be a little difficult. You can make any story or acronym to remember the elements. Write it down on paper and keep revising multiple times to keep the table intact in your memory. Thus, after reading it frequently it will no longer be difficult for you. 

7. What is the color of the ions or compounds in the D-block?

Almost all the ions and the compounds in the D-block are coloured. They give coloured solutions when dissolved in the water. Its transition metal that is S-block and P-block has white elements, so when the white light of an element interacts with a colored substance, it gives out a color. For example, when a red part of white light is absorbed by a substance it gives blue light in return which is complementary to the red color. 

8. What are the special features of D-Block elements?

The D-block elements have high melting and boiling point which makes their bond strong. After d5 as more electrons get paired with degrees of high melting and boiling point starts reducing. Elements like Cr, Mo, and W have the highest boiling point, and copper that has the least number of unpaired electrons has the lowest boiling point. Carbon has the highest melting point whereas Helium has the lowest melting point. 

9. Are the D-block elements good catalysts?

Yes, the D-block elements are good catalysts as the transition elements in the block can lend or withdraw electrons from the substance depending upon the reaction. In simple words, the substance of the d-block element attracts other substances on their surface and activates them in the process.   In general, the compound of the element has the ability to change its oxidation state, and in the case of metal.