What is Electronegativity – Definition, Difference – Electronegativity of Elements

At the end of the article, you will able to describe – What is Electronegativity, Definition, Difference, the electronegativity of Elements. Let’s start discussing one by one.

What is Electronegativity – Definition

It is defined as the power to attract electrons.

What is Electronegativity - Definition, Difference -Electronegativity of Elements

 When two or more atoms combine to form a molecule. The atom with higher electronegativity has the tendency to attract the shared pair of electrons towards itself.

  • To define how much power an atom has to attract electrons, the term electronegativity used.
  • It has no specific units. Also, its value is not constant.
  •  It simply depends upon the nature of an atom with which a particular atom is linked.

When a bond is formed between the atoms two or more different elements. The type of bond is ( whether it is ionic or covalent or any type of bond) mostly depends upon the concept of electronegativity (E.N).

 It is important to note that

Electron affinity and electronegativity of elements both measure the electrons attracting power. But the electron affinity refers to an isolated gaseous atom while the E.N refers to an atom in a compound. Thus,

  • Electron affinity is the attraction for a single electron while electronegativity is for a pair of bonded electrons.
  • Further, electron affinity is energy while E.N is a tendency.

Electronegativity Difference

A large difference in electronegativities leads to an ionic bond (i.e., a strong bond).

  • It is observed that when the difference between the electronegativities of the two atoms is 1.7, the bond formed between them will be 50% ionic in character.
  • When the difference is zero, the bond is 100% covalent. There is no bond with 100% ionic character.
  • If the two atoms have similar electronegativities, the bond between them will be covalent (i.e., a weak bond), while a large difference in electronegativities leads to an ionic bond (i.e., a strong bond).

Electronegativity of Elements

Must Read- How to calculate value the E.N

Electronegativity of Elements

E.N of elements depends upon

  • The size of the atom(Atomic Radius)
  • Electronic configuration.
  • Nuclear attraction.
  • Oxidation state.
  • Percentage s –character

What is Electronegativity - Definition, Difference -Electronegativity of Elements

Small atoms attract electrons more than the larger one and are therefore more electronegative. Secondly, atoms with nearly filled shells of electrons will tend to have a higher E.N than those sparsely occupied ones.

  • If an element exhibits various oxidation states, the atom in the higher oxidation state will be more negative due to the greater attraction for the electron, e.g., Sn II (1.30).
  • If s – character increases, the E.N of elements also increases.

E.N decides the percentage of ionic character. The percentage ionic character is calculated from E.N difference between the two atoms by the Hannary and Smith relationship.Electronegativity of Elements

  •  Since a covalent bond is a weaker bond, while an ionic bond is a stronger bond, greater the ionic percentage character of a bond more is its stability.
  • Greater the E.N of elements, greater is its tendency to gain electrons (greater oxidizing power) and hence more is its non-metallic properties.

Which element has the highest E.N?

Answer:  Fluorine

Which element has the lowest E.N?

Answer: Cesium

This all about the basics-What is Electronegativity, Definition, Difference, the electronegativity of Elements.

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