Wednesday, December 06, 2006
science for net
Ionization energies measure the tendency of a neutral atom to resist the loss of electrons. It takes a considerable amount of energy, for example, to remove an electron from a neutral fluorine atom to form a positively charged ion.
F(g) F+(g) + e- Ho = 1681.0 kJ/mol
The electron affinity of an element is the energy given off when a neutral atom in the gas phase gains an extra electron to form a negatively charged ion. A fluorine atom in the gas phase, for example, gives off energy when it gains an electron to form a fluoride ion.
F(g) + e- F-(g) Ho = -328.0 kJ/mol
Electron affinities generally become smaller as we go down a column of the periodic table for two reasons. First, the electron being added to the atom is placed in larger orbitals, where it spends less time near the nucleus of the atom. Second, the number of electrons on an atom increases as we go down a column, so the force of repulsion between the electron being added and the electrons already present on a neutral atom becomes larger.
Electron affinity data are complicated by the fact that the repulsion between the electron being added to the atom and the electrons already present on the atom depends on the volume of the atom. Among the nonmetals in Groups VIA and VIIA, this force of repulsion is largest for the very smallest atoms in these columns: oxygen and fluorine. As a result, these elements have a smaller electron affinity than the elements below them in these columns as shown in the figure below. From that point on, however, the electron affinities decrease as we continue down these columns