Electronegativity

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Electronegativity is a measure of the ability of an atom or molecule to attract electrons in the context of a chemical bond. The type of bond formed is largely determined by the difference in electronegativity between the atoms involved. Atoms with similar electronegativities will share an electron with each other and form a covalent bond. However, if the difference is too great, the electron will be permanently transferred to one atom and an ionic bond will form. Furthermore, in a covalent bond if one atom pulls slightly harder than the other a polar covalent bond will form.

The reverse of electronegativity, the ability of an atom to lose electrons, is known as electropositivity.

Two scales of electronegativity are in common use: the Pauling scale (proposed in 1932) and the Mulliken scale (proposed in 1934). Another proposal is the Allred-Rochow scale.

Contents

[edit] Pauling scale

The Pauling scale was devised in 1932 by Linus Pauling. On this scale, the most electronegative chemical element (fluorine) is given an electronegativity value of 3.98 (textbooks often state this value to be 4.0); the least electronegative element (francium) has a value of 0.7, and the remaining elements have values in between. On the Pauling scale, hydrogen is arbitrarily assigned a value of 2.1 or 2.2.

'ΔEN' is the difference in electronegativity between two atoms or elements. Bonds between atoms with a large electronegativity difference (greater than or equal to 1.7) are usually considered to be ionic, while values between 1.7 and 0.4 are considered polar covalent. Values below 0.4 are considered non-polar covalent bonds, and electronegativity differences of 0 indicate a completely non-polar covalent bond.

[edit] Mulliken scale

The Mulliken scale was proposed by Robert S. Mulliken in 1934. On the Mulliken scale, numbers are obtained by averaging ionization potential and electron affinity. Consequently, the Mulliken electronegativities are expressed directly in energy units, usually electron volts.

[edit] Electronegativity trends

Each element has a characteristic electronegativity ranging from 0 to 4 on the Pauling scale. The most strongly electronegative element, fluorine, has an electronegativity of 3.98 while weakly electronegative elements, such as lithium, have values close to 1. The least electronegative element is francium at 0.7. In general, the degree of electronegativity decreases down each group and increases across the periods, as shown below. Across a period, non-metals tend to gain electrons and metals tend to lose them due to the atom striving to achieve a stable octet. Down a group, the nuclear charge has less effect on the outermost shells. Therefore, the most electronegative atoms can be found in the upper, right hand side of the periodic table, and the least electronegative elements can be found at the bottom left. Consequently, in general, atomic radius decreases across the periodic table, but ionization potential increases.

Atomic radius decreases → Ionization potential increases → Electronegativity increases →
Group 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Period
1 H
2.20
He
 
2 Li
0.98
Be
1.57
B
2.04
C
2.55
N
3.04
O
3.44
F
3.98
Ne
 
3 Na
0.93
Mg
1.31
Al
1.61
Si
1.90
P
2.19
S
2.58
Cl
3.16
Ar
 
4 K
0.82
Ca
1.00
Sc
1.36
Ti
1.54
V
1.63
Cr
1.66
Mn
1.55
Fe
1.83
Co
1.88
Ni
1.91
Cu
1.90
Zn
1.65
Ga
1.81
Ge
2.01
As
2.18
Se
2.55
Br
2.96
Kr
3.00
5 Rb
0.82
Sr
0.95
Y
1.22
Zr
1.33
Nb
1.6
Mo
2.16
Tc
1.9
Ru
2.2
Rh
2.28
Pd
2.20
Ag
1.93
Cd
1.69
In
1.78
Sn
1.96
Sb
2.05
Te
2.1
I
2.66
Xe
2.6
6 Cs
0.79
Ba
0.89
*
 
Hf
1.3
Ta
1.5
W
2.36
Re
1.9
Os
2.2
Ir
2.20
Pt
2.28
Au
2.54
Hg
2.00
Tl
1.62
Pb
2.33
Bi
2.02
Po
2.0
At
2.2
Rn
 
7 Fr
0.7
Ra
0.9
**
 
Rf
 
Db
 
Sg
 
Bh
 
Hs
 
Mt
 
Ds
 
Rg
 
Uub
 
Uut
 
Uuq
 
Uup
 
Uuh
 
Uus
 
Uuo
 
Lanthanides *
 
La
1.1
Ce
1.12
Pr
1.13
Nd
1.14
Pm
1.13
Sm
1.17
Eu
1.2
Gd
1.2
Tb
1.1
Dy
1.22
Ho
1.23
Er
1.24
Tm
1.25
Yb
1.1
Lu
1.27
Actinides **
 
Ac
1.1
Th
1.3
Pa
1.5
U
1.38
Np
1.36
Pu
1.28
Am
1.13
Cm
1.28
Bk
1.3
Cf
1.3
Es
1.3
Fm
1.3
Md
1.3
No
1.3
Lr
 
Periodic table of electronegativity using the Pauling scale
See also Periodic table

[edit] List of elemental electronegativity

These are only the elements that are colored in the table above.af:Elektronegatiwiteit ast:Electronegatividá ca:Electronegativitat cs:Elektronegativita da:Elektronegativitet de:Elektronegativität es:Electronegatividad fr:Électronégativité ko:전기 음성도 hr:Elektronegativnost it:Elettronegatività he:אלקטרושליליות lt:Elektroneigiamumas lmo:Eletru-negatività hu:Elektronegativitás mk:Електронегативност nl:Elektronegativiteit ja:電気陰性度 no:Elektronegativitet nn:Elektronegativitet nds:Elektronegativität pl:Elektroujemność pt:Eletronegatividade ro:Electronegativitate ru:Электроотрицательность sk:Elektronegativita sl:Elektronegativnost sr:Електронегативност sh:Elektronegativnost fi:Elektronegatiivisuus sv:Elektronegativitet th:อิเล็กโตรเนกาทิวิตี tr:Elektronegatiflik uk:Електровід'ємність uz:Elektrmanfiylik zh:電負性

Electronegativity

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