A series of Cr complexes varying in oxidation state, ligand and geometry were studied with Cr K-edge XANES. The main absorption edge energy shift for an oxidation state change from Cr° to Cr6+ is found to be similar to that for a series of Cr3+ complexes with different ligands. Theoretical XANES and density of states calculations using FEFF8.0 provided detailed insights in the origin of the XANES features for the series of distorted octahedral CrCl3L complexes. The geometry of the CrCl3L complex governs the position of the main absorption edge. Hard versus soft donor effects are overruled by the chlorine ligand for complexes with a facial geometry, whereas the chlorine ligand does not play a significant role in meridional geometry. The combined results call for a redefinition of generally used concepts like oxidation state
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