Periodic Table With Names 3
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Analysis of electronegativity trend periodic table

Electronegativity is one of the periodic properties that vary across the period and down the group. Electronegativity trend explained as the variation of electronegativity across the period and down the different groups in the periodic table.

Electronegativity is the power or tendency of an atom to attract electrons to itself. Generally, every atom intends to attain stability by having a stable (octet or duplet) configuration depending on the nature of the atom. To attain this stability, they need to lose or gain ion to do so. When metallic atoms lose electrons, they form negative ions but when metallic atoms gain electrons, they form positive ions.

Since metals usually have fewer electrons in their outermost shell, it is easier for metals to lose electrons and form positive ions than gain electrons. Also, it is easier for non-metals to gain electrons to form negative ions.

The ability of atoms to gain electrons and form negative ions is called electronegativity. The electronegativity trend is meant to be highest in non-metals and lowest in metals as a result the electronegativity trend across the period and down the group differs.

Electronegativity trend explained

The electronegativity trend explained by the fact that across the period, nonmetals are concentrated more on the right-hand side while metals are concentrated on the left-hand side, and since non-metals have higher tendencies to gain or attract electrons then it is expected that the electron activity trend should be highest on the righthand side.

So we can say that the electronegativity trend across the period is that electronegativity increases across the period because of the increase in nuclear charge attraction of the atom and the increased tendency of the nucleus to attract electrons.

Also down the group, especially for groups where the tendency to attract electrons decreases as you move down the group. This is because down the group, the number of shells increases and then decreases the tendency of atoms to attract electrons to themselves and this lowers the electronegativity down the group.

Electronegativity trend in the periodic table

The electronegativity chart or electronegativity chart shows the exact variation of electronegativity trend across the period and down the group.

Electronegativity trend across the period (left to right)

Electronegativity generally increases as you move from left to right across the period in the periodic table. The reason is that the number of protons in the nucleus increases as you move from one element to the other across the period leading to an increase in the build-up of the nuclear charge, leading to a stronger attraction for electrons. Due to the increased nuclear charge and the addition of shells, this leads to a decreased atomic radius Additionally, the atomic radius decreases, so the electrons are closer to the nucleus, enhancing the ability to attract electrons.

In general, electronegativity across the period decreases across the period due to increased nuclear charge attraction and reduction of the atomic radius.

Electronegativity down the Group (Top to Bottom)

Electronegativity generally decreases as you move down the group. The reason behind this observation is that as you move down a group, the number of electron shells increases, resulting in a larger atomic radius. The larger distance observed between the nucleus and the outermost electrons, along with increased shielding by inner electrons, reduces the nucleus’s attraction for bonding electrons.

The combination of these trends leads to the most electronegative elements being found in the upper right corner of the periodic table (excluding the noble gases, which have a complete electron shell). Fluorine is the most electronegative element, with oxygen and chlorine also ranking high. In contrast, the least electronegative elements, typically metals, are located in the lower-left corner of the periodic table.

Electronegativity trend exceptions

There are exceptions to the electronegativity trend in the periodic table which includes noble gases, lanthanides and actinides, and transition metals due to specific reasons.

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