Lithium – Electron Affinity – Electronegativity – Ionization Energy of Lithium

Electron Affinity and Electronegativity of Lithium

Electron Affinity of Lithium is 59.6 kJ/mol.

Electronegativity of Lithium is 0.98.

Electron Affinity

In chemistry and atomic physics, the electron affinity of an atom or molecule is defined as:

the change in energy (in kJ/mole) of a neutral atom or molecule (in the gaseous phase) when an electron is added to the atom to form a negative ion.

X + e → X + energy        Affinity = – ∆H

In other words, it can be expressed as the neutral atom’s likelihood of gaining an electron. Note that, ionization energies measure the tendency of a neutral atom to resist the loss of electrons. Electron affinities are more difficult to measure than ionization energies.

An atom of Lithium in the gas phase, for example, gives off energy when it gains an electron to form an ion of Lithium.

Li + e → Li        – ∆H = Affinity = 59.6 kJ/mol

To use electron affinities properly, it is essential to keep track of sign. When an electron is added to a neutral atom, energy is released. This affinity is known as the first electron affinity and these energies are negative. By convention, the negative sign shows a release of energy. However, more energy is required to add an electron to a negative ion which overwhelms any the release of energy from the electron attachment process. This affinity is known as the second electron affinity and these energies are positive.

Affinities of Non metals vs. Affinities of Metals

  • Metals: Metals like to lose valence electrons to form cations to have a fully stable shell. The electron affinity of metals is lower than that of nonmetals. Mercury most weakly attracts an extra electron.
  • Nonmetals: Generally, nonmetals have more positive electron affinity than metals. Nonmetals like to gain electrons to form anions to have a fully stable electron shell. Chlorine most strongly attracts extra electrons. The electron affinities of the noble gases have not been conclusively measured, so they may or may not have slightly negative values.

Electronegativity

Electronegativity, symbol χ, is a chemical property that describes the tendency of an atom to attract electrons towards this atom. For this purposes, a dimensionless quantity the Pauling scale, symbol χ, is the most commonly used.

The electronegativity of Lithium is:

χ = 0.98

In general, an atom’s electronegativity is affected by both its atomic number and the distance at which its valence electrons reside from the charged nucleus. The higher the associated electronegativity number, the more an element or compound attracts electrons towards it.

The most electronegative atom, fluorine, is assigned a value of 4.0, and values range down to cesium and francium which are the least electronegative at 0.7.

electron affinity and electronegativity

First Ionization Energy of Lithium

First Ionization Energy of Lithium is 5.3917 eV.

Ionization energy, also called ionization potential, is the energy necessary to remove an electron from the neutral atom.

X + energy → X+ + e

where X is any atom or molecule capable of being ionized, X+ is that atom or molecule with an electron removed (positive ion), and e is the removed electron.

A Lithium atom, for example, requires the following ionization energy to remove the outermost electron.

Li + IE → Li+ + e        IE = 5.3917 eV

The ionization energy associated with removal of the first electron is most commonly used. The nth ionization energy refers to the amount of energy required to remove an electron from the species with a charge of (n-1).

1st ionization energy

X → X+ + e

2nd ionization energy

X+ → X2+ + e

3rd ionization energy

X2+ → X3+ + e

Ionization Energy for different Elements

There is an ionization energy for each successive electron removed. The electrons that circle the nucleus move in fairly well-defined orbits. Some of these electrons are more tightly bound in the atom than others. For example, only 7.38 eV is required to remove the outermost electron from a lead atom, while 88,000 eV is required to remove the innermost electron. Helps to understand reactivity of elements (especially metals, which lose electrons).

In general, the ionization energy increases moving up a group and moving left to right across a period. Moreover:

  • Ionization energy is lowest for the alkali metals which have a single electron outside a closed shell.
  • Ionization energy increases across a row on the periodic maximum for the noble gases which have closed shells.

For example, sodium requires only 496 kJ/mol or 5.14 eV/atom to ionize it. On the other hand neon, the noble gas, immediately preceding it in the periodic table, requires 2081 kJ/mol or 21.56 eV/atom.

ionization energy

Lithium – Properties

ElementLithium
Atomic Number3
SymbolLi
Element CategoryAlkali Metal
Phase at STPSolid
Atomic Mass [amu]6.941
Density at STP [g/cm3]0.535
Electron Configuration[He] 2s1
Possible Oxidation States+1
Electron Affinity [kJ/mol]59.6
Electronegativity [Pauling scale]0.98
1st Ionization Energy [eV]5.3917
Year of Discovery1817
DiscovererArfvedson, Johan August
Thermal properties
Melting Point [Celsius scale]180.5
Boiling Point [Celsius scale]1342
Thermal Conductivity [W/m K]85
Specific Heat [J/g K]3.6
Heat of Fusion [kJ/mol]3
Heat of Vaporization [kJ/mol]145.92

 

Lithium in Periodic Table

Hydro­gen1HHe­lium2He
Lith­ium3LiBeryl­lium4BeBoron5BCarbon6CNitro­gen7NOxy­gen8OFluor­ine9FNeon10Ne
So­dium11NaMagne­sium12MgAlumin­ium13AlSili­con14SiPhos­phorus15PSulfur16SChlor­ine17ClArgon18Ar
Potas­sium19KCal­cium20CaScan­dium21ScTita­nium22TiVana­dium23VChrom­ium24CrManga­nese25MnIron26FeCobalt27CoNickel28NiCopper29CuZinc30ZnGallium31GaGerma­nium32GeArsenic33AsSele­nium34SeBromine35BrKryp­ton36Kr
Rubid­ium37RbStront­ium38SrYttrium39YZirco­nium40ZrNio­bium41NbMolyb­denum42MoTech­netium43TcRuthe­nium44RuRho­dium45RhPallad­ium46PdSilver47AgCad­mium48CdIndium49InTin50SnAnti­mony51SbTellur­ium52TeIodine53IXenon54Xe
Cae­sium55CsBa­rium56BaLan­thanum57La1 asteriskHaf­nium72HfTanta­lum73TaTung­sten74WRhe­nium75ReOs­mium76OsIridium77IrPlat­inum78PtGold79AuMer­cury80HgThallium81TlLead82PbBis­muth83BiPolo­nium84PoAsta­tine85AtRadon86Rn
Fran­cium87FrRa­dium88RaActin­ium89Ac1 asteriskRuther­fordium104RfDub­nium105DbSea­borgium106SgBohr­ium107BhHas­sium108HsMeit­nerium109MtDarm­stadtium110DsRoent­genium111RgCoper­nicium112CnNihon­ium113NhFlerov­ium114FlMoscov­ium115McLiver­morium116LvTenness­ine117TsOga­nesson118Og
1 asteriskCerium58CePraseo­dymium59PrNeo­dymium60NdProme­thium61PmSama­rium62SmEurop­ium63EuGadolin­ium64GdTer­bium65TbDyspro­sium66DyHol­mium67HoErbium68ErThulium69TmYtter­bium70YbLute­tium71Lu
1 asteriskThor­ium90ThProtac­tinium91PaUra­nium92UNeptu­nium93NpPluto­nium94PuAmeri­cium95AmCurium96CmBerkel­ium97BkCalifor­nium98CfEinstei­nium99EsFer­mium100FmMende­levium101MdNobel­ium102NoLawren­cium103Lr