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A chemical species is said to be fluxional if it undergoes rapid degenerate rearrangements (generally detectable by methods which allow the observation of the behaviour of individual nuclei in a rearranged chemical species, e.g. NMR, X-ray). Example: bullvalene (1 209 600 interconvertible arrangements of the ten CH groups).
The term is also used to designate positional change among ligands of complex compounds and organometallics. In these cases, the change is not necessarily degenerate.
PAC, 1994, 66, 1077 (Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)) on page 1115
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IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
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