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# Chapter 7

## Electron Configurations & the

Periodic Table
General Chemistry I
S. Imbriglio
Part A: Electron Configurations
The arrangement of all of the electrons in an atom
is called the electron configuration

Electron configurations can be used to explain:
Reactivity & properties of the elements
Trends in reactivity & properties (periodic table!)

The electron configuration of an atom is best

1. Electromagnetic (EM) Waves: oscillating
perpendicular magnetic & electric fields that travel
through space at the same rate (the speed of
light: c = 3.00x10
8
m/s)

- Unlike sound waves, electromagnetic waves
require no medium for propagation
eg. This allows the suns electromagnetic
radiation to reach the earth as sunlight.
http://ww2.unime.it/dipart/i_fismed/wbt/mirror/ntnujava/emWave/emWave.html
a) Wavelength & Frequency
All EM waves can be described in terms of
wavelength & frequency.

Wavelength
( - lambda):
distance between
(or troughs) in a
wave
a) Wavelength & Frequency
- Frequency (v - nu): the number of complete
waves passing a point in a given period of time
(remember c = 3.00x10
8
m/s)

Unit of frequency is
the Hertz (Hz):
1 Hz = 1 s
-1

= 1 per second
a) Wavelength & Frequency
For EM radiation, frequency is related to wavelength
by v = c.
If you know one, you know the other.

Calculate the frequency of an X-ray that has a wavelength of 8.21 nm.

v = c
i. Electromagnetic Spectrum
The type of electromagnetic radiation is defined by its
frequency & wavelength
Remember, as increases, v decreases, and vice versa.
b) Amplitude
The intensity of radiation is related to its
amplitude.

Amplitude: height
of the wave crest

In the visible portion
of the spectrum,
brighter light is light
with a greater
amplitude.
c) Refraction
Classifying EM radiation (light) as a
wave explains many fundamental
properties of light.

Refraction:
When white light passes through a
narrow slit & then through a glass prism,
the light separates in a continuous
spectrum.

The spectrum is continuous because
each color merges into the next without
a break all wavelengths (or
frequencies) of visible light are observed.

d) Diffraction
Diffraction:
constructively
or destructively
to amplify or
cancel each
other.
At high temperatures, matter emits
As the temperature increases, the maximum
intensity of the emitted radiation increases in
frequency.

The observed
spectrum depends
only on temperature
& not on the particular
elements present.

THE EXPLANATION: According to classical
physics, as the temperature of a solid increases,
the atoms vibrate more vigorously some of the
vibrational energy is released as EM radiation.
THE PROBLEM: Using
the classical picture of
light as a wave,
scientists were unable
to explain the shape of
the observed black-body

3. Plancks Quantum Hypothesis
According to classical physics, the energy scale
is continuous there are no limitations on the
amount of energy a system can gain or lose.
Planck proposed that variations in energy are
discontinuous energy changes occur only by
discrete amounts.

Quantized
(1 step = 1 quantum)
Classical
(continuous)
eg. The
Quantization
of Elevation
3. Plancks Quantum Theory
For electromagnetic radiation of a certain
frequency, the smallest amount of energy, called
a quantum, is defined by the relationship:

E = hv
(h = Plancks constant = 6.626x10
-34
Js)

Energy can be absorbed or emitted only as a
quantum, or some whole-number multiple of a
quantum.
3. Plancks Quantum Theory
According to Plancks theory, the energy of one
quantum of EM radiation is dependent on the
frequency (and wavelength) of the radiation:

E = hv = hc/

The energy per quantum increases as the
frequency gets higher & the wavelength gets
shorter.
3. Plancks Quantum Theory
The energy per quantum increases as the frequency
gets higher & the wavelength gets shorter.
E = hv = hc/

Which has more energy a quantum of microwave radiation
( = 1x10
-2
m) or a quantum of infrared radiation ( = 1x10
-6

m)?

3. Plancks Quantum Theory
Planck proposed that vibrating atoms in a heated solid
can absorb and emit EM radiation only in certain discrete
amounts.

Plancks quantum theory allowed him to successfully
assertion that energy is quantized was difficult for the
scientific community to accept.

Fortunately, five years after its inception, Einstein used
Plancks Quantum Theory to explain another well-known
phenomenon called the photoelectric effect.
4. The Photoelectric Effect
Certain metals exhibit a photoelectric effect
when illuminated by light of certain wavelengths
(photo-), they emit electrons (-electric).

In order for the photoelectric effect to occur, the
frequency of the light must be higher than a certain
minimum value called the threshold frequency.

Each photosensitive metal has a different
threshold frequency.
4. The Photoelectric Effect
When light of a high enough energy (frequency) is
used, the number of electrons ejected is
proportional to the intensity of the light.
Light below the threshold frequency will not cause
an electric current to flow no matter how bright
(intense) the light is.

eg. Light meters use the
photoelectric effect to
measure the intensity
(brightness) of light.
http://jchemed.chem.wisc.edu/JCEDLib/WebWare/collection/open/JCEWWOR006/peeffect5.html
a) Photons
Classical physics could not explain the existence of
a threshold frequency, so Einstein turned to
Plancks Quantum Theory.

Einstein defined a quantum of electromagnetic
Einstein proposed that light could be thought of as
a stream of photons with particle-like properties as
well as wave properties.

For light of frequency v:
E
photon
= hv = hc/

a) Photons
The photoelectric effect can be explained by
assuming that light has particle-like properties:
Removing one electron from a photosensitive
metal requires a certain minimum energy
(E
min
).
Each photon has an energy given by E = hv.
Only photons with E > E
min
have enough
energy to knock an electron loose.

Photons of lower frequency (lower energy)
do not have enough energy to knock an
electron loose.
a) Photons
If the intensity of light is proportional to the
number of photons, then more intense light
means more photons.

If each photon ejects an electron, then more
photons means more electrons ejected.

The number of electrons ejected is
proportional to the intensity of light.
The Photoelectric EffectExplained

b) Wave-Particle Duality of Light
Depending on the circumstances, light (all EM
radiation) can appear to have either wave-like or
particle-like characteristics.
Both ideas are needed to fully explain lights
behavior in different phenomena.

It not only prohibits the killing of two birds with one
stone, but also the killing of one bird with two
stones.
- James Jeans, commenting on Einsteins explanation
of the photoelectric effect
Nobel Prize Winners
Max Planck won the Nobel Prize for Physics
in 1918 for his quantum theory.

Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for
Physics in 1921 for his theory on the quantized
nature of light and how it relates to lights
interaction with matter (not for his theory of
relativity!).
Photoelectric effect explained
5. Line Emission Spectra
In the 1920s, another phenomenon was left
unexplained by classical physics the observance
of atomic line emission spectra.

When a voltage is applied to a gaseous element at
low pressure, the atoms absorb energy & become
excited.
The excited atoms then emit the extra energy as
5. Line Emission Spectra
When this radiation is passed through a prism, a
limited number of discrete colored lines are seen
a discontinuous spectrum.
This discontinuous spectrum is called a line
spectrum, or a line emission spectrum.
Unlike black-body radiation, each element has a
unique line emission spectrum.
Why dont
these atoms
emit
continuous
spectra?
B. Bohrs Hydrogen Atom: A
Planetary Model
Classical physics could not explain the presence
of line emission spectra.

Not long after Einstein used quantum theory to
explain the photoelectric effect, Niels Bohr used
quantum theory to explain the behavior of the
electron in a hydrogen atom.

Bohrs model provided the first explanation of
the discontinuous line emission spectrum of
hydrogen.

B. Bohrs Hydrogen Atom: A
Planetary Model
Bohr assumed that the single electron in a
hydrogen atom moves around the nucleus in a
circular orbit.

Bohr applied quantum theory to his model by
proposing that the electron is restricted to circling
the nucleus in orbits of certain radii, each of which
corresponds to a specific energy.

Thus, the energy of the electron is quantized,
and the electron is restricted to certain energy
levels orbits.
B. Bohrs Hydrogen Atom: A
Planetary Model
B. Bohrs Hydrogen Atom
1. Energy Levels (Orbits):
Each allowed orbit is assigned a principal
quantum number (n = 1,2,3,).

The energy of the electron and the radius
of its orbit increase as the value of n
increases.

An atom with its electron in the lowest energy
level is said to be in the ground state.
1. Energy Levels (Orbits)
The allowed energies of an electron (orbit) in a
hydrogen atom are restricted by the principal
quantum number (n), according to the equation
above.

The negative sign is a result of Bohrs choice to
define E
n
= 0 when n = .
E
n
= _ 2.179x10
-18
J (n = 1, 2, 3, )
n
2
a) Excited State vs. Ground State
Transitions Between Levels: Electrons can move
from one energy level to another
An electron must absorb energy to transition from a lower
energy level to a higher energy level

Energy is emitted when an electron transitions from a
higher energy level to a lower energy level

When an electron absorbs energy and moves to a
higher energy level, that atom is said to be in an
excited state.
http://www.upscale.utoronto.ca/GeneralInterest/Harrison/BohrModel/Flash/BohrModel.html
a) Excited State vs. Ground State
Absorb energy
to move to a
higher energy
orbit.

Emit energy to
move to a lower
energy orbit.
a) Excited State vs. Ground State
When an excited
electron returns to the
ground state, energy
is emitted as a photon
with an energy
corresponding to the
difference in energy between the two levels.

In the Bohr model, n= is the excited state in which enough
energy has been added to completely separate the electron
from the proton Bohr arbitrarily assigned this state as
having E = 0 (hence the negative energy values).
2. Explanation of Line Spectra
Bohrs model of
the hydrogen
atom can be
used to explain
the line
emission
spectrum of
hydrogen:

AE = E
final
- E
initial
|AE| = hv

2. Explanation of Line Spectra
Using Bohrs equation for allowed energies in a hydrogen
atom:

AE = E
f
- E
i

AE = _ 2.179x10
-18
J _ _ 2.179x10
-18
J
n
f
2
n
i
2

AE = 2.179x10
-18
J x 1 _ 1
n
i
2
n
f
2

Only certain energies of light (AE ) can be absorbed or emitted
by electrons in a hydrogen atom.
2. Explanation of Line Spectra
Now, coupling that equation with E = hv allows us
to describe the frequencies of light that can be
absorbed or emitted by an electron in a hydrogen
atom.

E = hv where E = |AE|

The frequencies (v) determined by this equation
correlate with the frequencies of light observed
in the line emission spectrum of hydrogen.

The discrete lines
in the line emission
spectra correspond
to photons of
specific frequencies
that are emitted
when electrons
relax from higher
energy levels to
lower energy levels
Using Bohrs model, calculate the frequency of the
radiation released by the transition of an electron in a
hydrogen atom from the n = 5 level to the n = 3 level.
Using Bohrs model, calculate the wavelength of the
radiation absorbed by a hydrogen atom when the electron
undergoes a transition from the n = 4 to n = 5 level.

C. Quantum Mechanical Model of the Atom
By the early 1920s, the theory of the Wave-
Particle Duality of light had been accepted, but a
young scientist named Louis De Broglie was ready
to shock the scientific community with another
hypothesis.
De Broglie proposed that matter can exhibit
wave-like properties.

eg. Electrons exhibit diffraction
similar to that observed with light.
1. De Broglie: Matter as Waves
De Broglie proposed that a particle of mass m
moving at speed v will have a wave nature
consistent with a wavelength given by the
equation:

= h/mv

Large (macroscale) objects have wavelengths too
short to observe.
Small (nanoscale) objects have longer & more
a) Quantum Mechanics
Current ideas about atomic structure are based
on De Broglies theory.

The treatment of atomic structure using the
wave-like properties of the electron is called
quantum mechanics (or wave mechanics)

In contrast to Bohrs precise atomic orbits,
quantum mechanics provides a less certain
picture of the hydrogen atom.
b) Wave Equation & Wave Functions
In 1926, Erwin Schrdinger used De Broglies
theory to develop an equation (Schrdingers
wave equation) describing the locations &
energies of the electron in a hydrogen atom.

Acceptable solutions to Schrdingers wave
equation are called wave functions (+).

Unlike Bohrs model, these wave functions do not
describe the exact location of an electron.
b) Wave Equation & Wave Functions
The square of a wave function (+
2
) gives the
probability of finding an electron in a particular
infinitesimally small volume of space in an atom.

Because we are treating electrons as waves (not
particles) we cannot pinpoint the specific location
of an electron.

Instead, mathematical solutions to the wave
functions give 3-dimensional shapes (orbitals)
within which electrons can usually be found.
b) Wave Equation & Wave Functions
These 3-D orbitals (probability clouds) take the place of
Bohrs simple well-defined orbits in the modern model of the
atom. We dont know exactly where the electrons are.

This less certain model is justified by an important principle
of science established in 1927.
2. Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle
It is impossible to determine the exact location
and the exact momentum of a tiny particle like
an electron.
The very act of measurement would affect the
position and momentum of the electron because
of its very small size and mass.
The collision of an electron with a high-energy
photon (required to locate the electron) would
change the momentum of the electron.
The collision of an electron with a low-energy
photon would not provide much information
about the location of the electron.
2. Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle
A macroscale analogy

High Shutter Speed Low Shutter Speed
Can judge location, Can judge speed,
but not speed. But not location
D. Quantum Numbers & Atomic
Orbitals
According to quantum mechanics, each electron in
an atom can be described using four quantum
numbers:
n Principal Quantum Number
l Angular Momentum Quantum Number
m
l
Magnetic Quantum Number
m
s
Electron Spin Quantum Number

The first three numbers describe the atomic orbital in
which the electron resides & the fourth differentiates
electrons that are in the same atomic orbital.
1. Principal Quantum Number (n)
The principal quantum number (n) has only
integer values, starting with 1:

n = 1, 2, 3, 4, . . .

a) The value of n corresponds to the Principal
Electron Shell that the orbital is in.
b) The principal electron shell is the major factor in
determining the energy of the electron(s) in that
orbital a higher n value means a higher energy.
2. Angular Momentum Quantum
Number (l)
The angular momentum quantum number (l )
is an integer that ranges from zero to a
maximum of n 1:
l = 0, 1, 2, 3, . . . (n 1)
a) The value of l indicates the subshell that the
orbital is in (within the larger energy shell).
n = 1; l = 0 (1 subshell)
n = 2; l = 0 or 1 (2 subshells)
n = 3; l = 0, 1 or 2 (3 subshells)
n = 4; l = 0, 1, 2 or 3 (4 subshells)
2. Angular Momentum Quantum
Number (l)
Each subshell (l) is designated with a letter:

b) Each letter (s, p, d, f) symbolizes a subshell containing one
specific type of orbital with a unique shape.

eg. All s orbitals are spherical (l = 0) & all p orbitals are
shaped like dumbbells (l = 1) more on this in a minute.
s orbital p orbital
2. Angular Momentum Quantum Number
In the first principle shell, there is one
s subshell containing one s orbital.
In the second principle shell, there is one
s subshell containing one s orbital & one
p subshell containing three p orbitals.
Within a p or d subshell, how do you distinguish between the individual orbitals?
In the third principle shell, there is one s subshell containing one s
orbital, one p subshell containing three p orbitals & one d subshell
containing five d orbitals..
3. Magnetic Quantum Number (m
l
)
The magnetic quantum number (m
l
) can have
any integer value between l and - l, including
zero:
m
l
= l, . . . , +1, 0, -1, . . . , - l

a) The magnetic quantum number (m
l
) is related to
the directional orientation of the orbital.

eg. There are three possible p orbitals each
pointing along a different axis in space.
3. Magnetic Quantum Number (m
l
)
(s) l = o; m
l
= 0 (1 s orbital)
(p) l = 1; m
l
= -1,0,1 (3 p orbitals)
(d) l = 2; m
l
= -2,-1,0,1,2 (5 d orbitals)
(f) l = 3; m
l
= -3,-2,-1,0,1,2,3 (7 f orbitals)

eg. There is only one
type of directional
orientation for any
given s orbital in an
l = 0 subshell because
m
l
must equal 0.
3. Magnetic Quantum Number (m
l
)
There are three different p orbitals in every l =
1 subshell because m
l
= -1,0,1.

Each of the three
p orbitals is
pointed along a
different axis
(x,y,z).
3. Magnetic Quantum Number (m
l
)
There are five different d orbitals in every l = 2
subshell because m
l
= -2,-1,0,1,2.

Four of the five
d orbitals are
pointed along a
different axis.

The fifth has a
slightly different
shape.

4. Shells (n), Subshells (l ) & Orbitals (m
l
):
A Summary

4. Shells (n), Subshells (l ) & Orbitals
(m
l
): A Summary

This picture shows all of
the orbitals in the first
three electron shells
(n = 1,2,3).
State whether an electron can be described by
each of the following sets of quantum number. If a
set is not possible, state why not.
a) n = 2, l = 1, m
l
= -1

b) n = 1, l = 1, m
l
= +1

c) n = 4, l = 3, m
l
= +3

d) n = 3, l = 1, m
l
= -3

Replace the question marks by suitable responses
in the following quantum number assignments.
a) n = 3, l = 1, m
l
= ?

b) n = 4, l = ?, m
l
= -2

c) n = ?, l = 3, m
l
= ?

Provide the three quantum numbers describing
each of the three p orbitals in the 2p subshell.
n l m
l

2p
x

2p
y

2p
z

5. Electron Spin Quantum Number (m
s
)
The first three quantum numbers (n, l, m
l
) fully
characterize all of the orbitals in an atom.

But, one more quantum number is necessary
to describe all of the electrons in an atom.

This is because every orbital can hold two
electrons.
5. Electron Spin Quantum Number (m
s
)
The spin quantum number (m
s
) can have just
one of two values (+1/2 & -1/2).
Each electron exists in one of two possible spin
states.

- The spinning
electron induces an
external magnetic field.
Opposite spins induce
opposing magnetic
fields.
5. Electron Spin Quantum Number (m
s
)
When two electrons have the same m
s
quantum
number, those spins are said to be parallel.

When two electrons in the same orbital have
different m
s
quantum numbers, those electrons
are said to be paired.

|+

Paired spins
| |

Parallel spins
a) Pauli Exclusion Principle
The Pauli Exclusion Principle states that no
more than two electrons can be assigned to the
same orbital in an atom & those two electrons
must have opposite spins.

In other words:
No two electrons in the same atom can have
the same set of four quantum numbers (n, l,
m
l
, m
s
).
If two electrons occupy the same orbital, their
spins must be paired (+1/2 & -1/2).
Quantum Numbers: A
Macroscale Analogy
n - indicates which train (shell)

l - indicates which car (subshell)

m
l
- indicates which row (orbital)

m
s
- indicates which seat (spin)

No two people can have exactly the
same ticket (sit in the same seat).

For n = 1, determine the possible values of l. For
each value of l, assign the appropriate letter
designation & determine the possible values of m
l
.
n = 1

How many orbitals in shell n = 1?
How many electrons possible?
For n = 2, determine the possible values of l. For
each value of l, assign the appropriate letter
designation & determine the possible values of m
l
.
n = 2

How many orbitals in shell n = 2?
How many electrons possible?
For n = 3, determine the possible values of l. For
each value of l, assign the appropriate letter
designation & determine the possible values of m
l
.
n = 3

# of Orbitals? # of Electrons?
For n = 4, determine the possible values of l. For
each value of l, assign the appropriate letter
designation & determine the possible values of m
l
.
Provide the four quantum numbers describing
each of the two electrons in the 3s orbital.
n l m
l
m
s

E. Electron Configurations
The electron configuration of an atom is the
complete description of the orbitals occupied by
all of its electrons
eg. The electron in a ground state hydrogen
atom occupies the 1s orbital

There are several ways to represent electron
configurations. . .
1. Representations of Electron
Configuration
In most cases, it is sufficient to write a list of all
of the occupied subshells and indicate the
number of electrons in each subshell with a
superscript.

H 1s
1

C 1s
2
2s
2
2p
2

Ar 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
3p
6

1. Representations of Electron Configuration
a) Expanded Electron Configuration: In some
occupied orbital and indicate the number of
electrons in each orbital.

N 1s
2
2s
2
2p
3
versus N 1s
2
2s
2
2p
1
2p
1
2p
1

The expanded configuration indicates that there is one
electron in each of the three 2p orbitals the
original configuration doesnt.
1. Representations of Electron
Configuration
b) An orbital box diagram goes one step further by
also illustrating the spins of the elctrons.

P 1s
2
2s
2
2p
2
2p
2
2p
2
3s
2
3p
1
3p
1
3p
1

P

The orbital box diagram indicates that the three
electrons in the 3p subshell all have parallel
(unpaired) spins.

|+ |+ |+ |+ |+ |+ | | |
1s
2s 2p 3s 3p
i) Hunds Rule
In the last example, we saw that:
Atoms can have half-filled orbitals
the electrons in the half-filled orbitals tend to have
parallel spins

Hunds Rule: The most stable arrangement of
electrons in the same subshell has the maximum
number of unpaired electrons, all with the same
spin
In other words, electrons pair only after each
orbital in a subshell is occupied.

Write the expanded electron configuration and the
box orbital diagram for oxygen (1s
2
2s
2
2p
4
).

O 1s
2
2s
2
2p
4

O

O
Write the expanded electron configuration and the
box orbital diagram for boron (1s
2
2s
2
2p
1
).

B 1s
2
2s
2
2p
1

B

B
1. Representations of Electron
Configuration
c) When you get deeper into the periodic table,
electron configurations can be abbreviated by
using noble gas notation.

- The noble gases are the elements in group 8A
(He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe, Rn)
- Each noble gas has a filled outer subshell
(enough electrons to fill its highest energy
subshell)

c) Noble Gas Notation
Electron Configurations of Noble Gases
[He] = 1s
2

[Ne] = 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6

[Ar] = 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
3p
6
[Kr] = 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
3p
6
3d
10
4s
2
4p
6

To use noble gas notation, write the symbol for
the preceding noble gas [in brackets] to
represent all of the electrons in its electron
configuration.
Add the rest of the electrons at the end.
c) Noble Gas Notation
Write the following electron configurations using
noble gas notation:

O 1s
2
2s
2
2p
4

Si 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
3p
2

Now we know how to write electron configurations.
How do we know what the ground state
electron configuration for an element is???
2. Ground State Configuration
Afbau Principle: Every atom has an infinite
number of possible electron configurations.

For an atom in its ground state, electrons
are found in the energy shells, subshells &
orbitals that produce the lowest energy for
the atom.

Other configurations correspond to excited
states.
2. Ground State Configuration
In other words, when deciding where to put
the electrons in the ground state, always start
filling the lowest energy orbitals first.

In general:
Orbital energy increases as n increases
Within the same shell (n), orbital energy
increases as l increases (E: s<p<d<f)
a) Order of Subshell Filling
The electron configurations of the first ten
elements illustrate this point.
a) Order of Subshell Filling
In general,
subshells are filled
in order of
increasing n + l
value

If two orbitals have
the same value for
n + l, fill the
subshell with
lowest n value
first
a) Order of Subshell Filling
i) Using the Periodic Table
You dont have to memorize the order of the
subshells, just use the periodic table!
Start at H & move through the table in order until
the desired element is reached.
Notice: (n 1)d orbitals are filled after ns and before np orbitals.
a) Order of Subshell Filling
i) Using the Periodic Table
Write the electron configuration for Al.

Al
Al
Al
Ne
a) Order of Subshell Filling
i) Using the Periodic Table
Write the electron configuration for As.

As
As

As
Ar
a) Order of Subshell Filling
i) Using the Periodic Table
Write the electron configuration for Sn.

Sn

Sn

Sn
Kr
ii) Transition Metals
Remember, (n 1)d orbitals are generally filled
after ns orbitals and before np orbitals.

There are some exceptions:
When it is possible to half-fill or fill the (n-1)d
shell, the ns subshell can be left half-filled
This is an example of Hunds Rule. The ns
and (n-1)d orbitals are very close in energy,
so the more parallel spins, the better.
ii) Transition Metals
Sc [Ar]3d
1
4s
2

- 4s filled before 3d

Ti [Ar]3d
2
4s
2

V [Ar]3d
3
4s
2

|+
|
4s 3d

|+
|
|

4s 3d

|+
|
| |
4s 3d

ii) Transition Metals
Cr might expect

[Ar]3d
4
4s
2

Physical properties indicate that this is not the electron
configuration. It is actually

Cr [Ar]3d
5
4s
1

Notice the 3d subshell is half-filled. This configuration
maximizes unpaired electrons - Hunds Rule.
|
|+
|
| |
4s 3d

| | |
| |
4s 3d
|

ii) Transition Metals
Having a filled subshell is also energetically
favorable, so copper has an unexpected
configuration

Cu [Ar]3d
10
4s
1

The energetic stability gained from having either a
filled or a half-filled subshell has an effect on the
reactivity of different elements.

|+
|
|+
|+ |+
4s 3d
|+
iii) Magnetic Properties
The electron configuration of an atom
determines its magnetic properties.

In atoms (or ions) with completely filled shells,
all of the electron spins are paired, so their
individual magnetic fields effectively cancel
each other out.
Such substances are called diamagnetic.
iii) Magnetic Properties
Atoms (or ions) with unpaired
electrons (parallel spins) are
attracted to a magnetic field.
More unpaired electrons, stronger
attraction.
Such substances are called
paramagnetic.
eg. Metallic nickel is paramagnetic:

Ni
| |+ |+
|+ |+
4s 3d
|
iii) Magnetic Properties
Ferromagnetic
substances are permanent
magnets.
Spins of electrons in a
cluster of atoms are
aligned in same
direction, regardless of
external magnetic field
Metals in the iron, cobalt
& nickel groups exhibit
ferromagnetism
iv) Valence Electrons
The atomic electron configuration of an element
determines the chemical reactivity of that element,
but it is not the total number of electrons that is
important.
If that were the case, each element would have
unique reactivity & we would not observe periodicity
in atomic trends and reactivity.
How do we explain the trends in the periodic table?
Valence Electrons!
iv) Valence Electrons
When considering the principal electron shells
(n = 1,2,3,), there are two types of electrons:

Core Electrons: electrons in the filled
inner shell(s) of an atom
Valence Electrons: electrons in the unfilled
outer shell of an atom

All elements in the same group have similar
chemical properties because they have the
same number of valence electrons in their
outer shell!
iv) Valence Electrons
For elements in the first three periods:
The core electrons are those in the preceding
noble gas configuration.
The additional electrons in the outer shell are the
valence electrons.
eg. B 1s
2
2s
2
2p
1

B [He]2s
2
2p
1

Core: 1s
2
Valence: 2s
2
2p
1

(Shell with n = 1) (Shell with n = 2)
iv) Valence Electrons

Cl
Cl

Core:

Valence:

iv) Valence Electrons
For elements in the fourth period and below in groups
3A 7A, the filled d subshells are also part of the
core, even though they are not included in the noble
gas configuration.

Se
Se

Core: Valence:

iv) Valence Electrons
In each A group, the number of valence
electrons is equal to the group number.
1
2 3 4 5 6 7
8
s-block
p-block
# of valence electrons
v) Lewis Dot Symbols
The number of valence electrons in an atom is
directly related to its reactivity.
Gilbert Lewis came up with a way to represent an
element & its valence electrons.

One dot equals one valence electron.
3. Ion Electron Configurations
The number of valence electrons determines the
type of cation (+) or anion (-) an atom will form.
When s- and p-block elements form ions, electrons
are removed or added such that a noble gas
configuration is achieved.
The ions are said to be isoelectronic with the
noble gas more on this later.
In general:
Metals lose electrons; form cations
Non-metals gain electron; form anions
a) Cations
Li 1s
2
2s
1
(loses an electron)

Li
+
1s
2
= [He]
- Group 1 metals form cations with +1 charge.

Mg 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
(loses two electrons)
Mg
2+
1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
= [Ne]
- Group 2 metals form cations with +2 charges.

b) Anions

O 1s
2
2s
2
2p
4
(gains two electrons)

O
2-
1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
= [Ne]
- Group 6 elements form anions with -2 charge.

F 1s
2
2s
2
2p
5
(gains one electron)
F
-
1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
= [Ne]
- Group 7 elements (halogens) form anions with -1
charge.
Periodic Trends
When Mendelev created the first periodic table, he
organized the elements based on similarities in
chemical properties & reactivity.

Now, we can use the electron configurations of
the elements to explain the trends in the periodic
table.
Ionization Energy
Electron Affinity
The atomic radius of an atom is defined as
one-half of the internuclear distance between
two of the same atoms in a simple diatomic
molecule.

- In this simplified
picture, we assume that
each atom is spherical
& the radius is the distance
from the center to the edge
of the sphere.
The size (radius) of an atom is determined by
two main factors:

a) Principal Quantum Number (n): the larger the
principal quantum number (n), the larger the
orbitals

- As you move down a group in the periodic table,
the atomic radii of the atoms increase because n
increases.
b) Effective Nuclear Charge (Z*): the nuclear
positive charge experienced by outer-shell
electrons in a many-electron atom
Outer-shell electrons are shielded from the full
nuclear positive charge (Z) by the inner-shell
electrons (electron-electron repulsion)
The effective nuclear charge (Z*) felt by an
outer-shell electron is less than the actual
charge of the nucleus (Z).
b) Effective Nuclear Charge:
As Z* increases, the outer electrons are pulled
closer to the nucleus & the atomic radius
decreases.
Z* increases across a period in the periodic
table (additional attraction to nucleus stronger than
electron-electron repulsion/shielding).

Atomic Radius decreases across a period in the
periodic table.
Main
Group
Elements
I
n
c
r
e
a
s
i
n
g

A
t
o
m
i
c

R
a
d
i
u
s

Periodic trends in ionic radii parallel the trends in
atomic radii within the same group.
Ionic radii increase as you move down a group in the
periodic table (n increases).
1. Cations: The radius of a
cation is always smaller
than that of the atom from
which it is derived.
Nuclear charge (Z)
remains the same.
Electron-electron
repulsion (shielding)
decreases.
Effective nuclear
charge (Z*) increases.
2. Anions: The radius of an
anion is always larger than
that of the atom from which it
is derived.
Nuclear charge (Z)
remains the same.
Electron-electron
repulsion (shielding)
increases.
Effective nuclear charge
(Z*) decreases.
a) Isoelectronic Ions
Atoms or ions with identical electron
configurations are said to be isoelectronic.

In general:
Anions in a given period are isoelectronic
with the noble gas in the same period.
Cations in a given period are isoelectronic
with the noble gas in the preceding period.
a) Isoelectronic Ions

a) Isoelectronic Ions
When comparing
isoelectronic ions, the
number of protons in the
nucleus (Z)

The more protons in the
nucleus, the smaller the
a) Isoelectronic Ions
Isoelectronic Ions O
2-
F
-
Na
+
Mg
2+

Ionic Radius (pm) 140 133 102 66
Number of Protons 8 9 11 12
Number of
Electrons
10 10 10 10
Rank the following series in order of increasing
atomic or ionic radii. (1 = smallest, 3 = largest)
Al O P
Be
+2
Mg
+2
Sr
+2
O
-2
F
-
Na
+
Series 1:
Series 2:
Series 3:
H. Ionization Energies
The first ionization energy of an atom is the
minimum energy required to remove the highest
energy (outermost) electron from the neutral atom
in the gas phase.
The larger the I.E., the harder it is to remove the
electron.

eg. The first ionization energy of lithium is illustrated
by the following equation

Li (g) Li
+
(g) + e
-
AE = 520 kJ/mol

1s
2
2s
1
1s
2

1. Trends: Ionization Energies
Ionization energies tend to decrease as you move
down a group in the periodic table.
Size - it is easier to remove an electron that is
further from the nucleus.

Ionization energies tend to increase as you move
across a period in the periodic table.
Effective Nuclear Charge As Z* increases, it
becomes harder to remove an electron.
1. Trends: Ionization Energies

1. Trends: Ionization Energies
Ionization energies do not increase smoothly
across the periods in the periodic table.
In general: - It is easier to
remove an
electron if it results
in the formation of
a filled or half-filled
subshell.
- It is harder to
remove an
electron from a
filled or half-filled
subshell.
1. Trends: Ionization Energies
eg. In contrast to periodic trends, the ionization
energy of nitrogen is higher than the ionization
energy of oxygen.

N

N
+

O

O
+

1. Trends: Ionization Energies
In contrast to periodic trends, the ionization energy of
beryllium is higher than that of boron. Why?

Be

Be
+

B

B
+

2. Subsequent Ionization Energies
The first, second & third
ionization energies are the
energies associated with
removing the first, second
& third highest energy
electrons in an atom.

Ionization energies
increase with each
successive electron
removed because Z*
increases (same number of
protons, less electron
repulsion).
2. Subsequent Ionization Energies
Ionization energies can be used to explain why
Li forms Li
+
cations and Be forms Be
2+
cations.
I. Electron Affinities
The electron affinity of an element is the energy
change resulting from an electron being added to
an atom to form a 1- anion.
Electron affinity is the measure of the attraction an
atom has for an additional electron.

eg. The electron affinity of fluorine is illustrated by:

F (g) + e
-
F
-
(g) AE = EA = -328 kJ/mol
1s
2
2s
2
2p
5
1s
2
2s
2
2p
5

Fluorine readily accepts an electron to gain a stable
noble gas configuration (filled n = 2 shell).
I. Electron Affinities
Most electron affinities are <0 (favorable).
Electron affinities are generally > 0 (unfavorable) for
atoms with filled subshells (Groups 2A & 8A).
Knowing the Trends
You should be able to explain the trends & use the
periodic table to predict relative magnitudes for the
following properties:
Ionization Energy
The trends in electron affinities are less regular, but
you should be able to explain differences in EAs
based on filled/unfilled subshells.