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Lanthanum and actinium, because of their similarities to the other members of the series, are included and used to name the series, even though they are transition metals with no f electrons.

Electron configurations of ions

We have seen that ions are formed when atoms gain or lose electrons. A cation (positively charged ion) forms when one or more electrons are removed from a parent atom. For main group elements, the electrons that were added last are the first electrons removed. For transition metals and inner transition metals, however, electrons in the s   orbital are easier to remove than the d   or f   electrons, and so the  highest   ns   electrons are lost, and then the ( n – 1) d   or  ( n – 2) f electrons are removed. An anion (negatively charged ion) forms when one or more electrons are added to a parent atom. The added electrons fill in the order predicted by the Aufbau principle.

Predicting electron configurations of ions

What is the electron configuration and orbital diagram of:

(a) Na +

(b) P 3–

(c) Al 2+

(d) Fe 2+

(e) Sm 3+


First, write out the electron configuration for each parent atom. We have chosen to show the full, unabbreviated configurations to provide more practice for students who want it, but listing the core-abbreviated electron configurations is also acceptable.

Next, determine whether an electron is gained or lost. Remember electrons are negatively charged, so ions with a positive charge have lost an electron. For main group elements, the last orbital gains or loses the electron. For transition metals, the last s orbital loses an electron before the d orbitals.

(a) Na: 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 1 . Sodium cation loses one electron, so Na + : 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 1 = Na + : 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 .

(b) P: 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 2 3 p 3 . Phosphorus trianion gains three electrons, so P 3− : 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 2 3 p 6 .

(c) Al: 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 2 3 p 1 . Aluminum dication loses two electrons Al 2+ : 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 2 3 p 1 =

Al 2+ : 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 1 .

(d) Fe: 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 2 3 p 6 4 s 2 3 d 6 . Iron(II) loses two electrons and, since it is a transition metal, they are removed from the 4 s orbital Fe 2+ : 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 2 3 p 6 4 s 2 3 d 6 = 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 2 3 p 6 3 d 6 .

(e). Sm: 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 2 3 p 6 4 s 2 3 d 10 4 p 6 5 s 2 4 d 10 5 p 6 6 s 2 4 f 6 . Samarium trication loses three electrons. The first two will be lost from the 6 s orbital, and the final one is removed from the 4 f orbital. Sm 3+ : 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 2 3 p 6 4 s 2 3 d 10 4 p 6 5 s 2 4 d 10 5 p 6 6 s 2 4 f 6 = 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 2 3 p 6 4 s 2 3 d 10 4 p 6 5 s 2 4 d 10 5 p 6 4 f 5 .

Check your learning

Which ion with a +2 charge has the electron configuration 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 6 3 s 2 3 p 6 3 d 10 4 s 2 4 p 6 4 d 5 ? Which ion with a +3 charge has this configuration?


Tc 2+ , Ru 3+

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Key concepts and summary

The relative energy of the subshells determine the order in which atomic orbitals are filled (1 s , 2 s , 2 p , 3 s , 3 p , 4 s , 3 d , 4 p , and so on). Electron configurations and orbital diagrams can be determined by applying the Pauli exclusion principle (no two electrons can have the same set of four quantum numbers) and Hund’s rule (whenever possible, electrons retain unpaired spins in degenerate orbitals).

Electrons in the outermost orbitals, called valence electrons, are responsible for most of the chemical behavior of elements. In the periodic table, elements with analogous valence electron configurations usually occur within the same group. There are some exceptions to the predicted filling order, particularly when half-filled or completely filled orbitals can be formed. The periodic table can be divided into three categories based on the orbital in which the last electron to be added is placed: main group elements ( s and p orbitals), transition elements ( d orbitals), and inner transition elements ( f orbitals).

Questions & Answers

hydrogen is a monovalent why aluminum is a divalent
Naldo Reply
Did you mean trivalent? This is because Aluminium has three electroms orbiting in the valence (furthest shell) which are involved in covalent bonding where each electron becomes a pair with another one in the other non metal and make a single bond. N. B: each single covalent bond contains 2 electr
Electrons, one from each atom. Did you know that god said '' And, [O Muhammad], you are not [engaged] in any matter or recite any of the Qur'an and you [people] do not do any deed except that We are witness over you when you are involved in it. And not absent from your Lord is any [part] of an atom
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These are organic compounds, which have plentiful functional groups which react with certain substances through a pathway in the cells lining nostrils which sends impulses that make you sense its sweet. Did you prophet Muhammad (peace upon him) encourages the use of perfume.
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Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to love cleanliness and good scent. ... It was highlighted, in many hadiths, his love for fragrance and good scent like musk, 'ud and ambergris.
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Nobert Reply
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 An unknown noble gas was allowed to flow into a 300.0 mL glass bulb until the P = 685 torr. Initially, the glass bulb weighed 32.50 g, but now it weighs 33.94 g. If the temperature is 27.0 °C, what’s the identity of the gas?
Roseline Reply
* Use PV=nRT with correct units to find n (number of moles) * Use n = mass/ Ar (Ar is relative atomic mass) Ar = 131.15 -> Xenon N. B: P is in pascals, V in m3, n in mol, R in J/ k. Mol, T in kelvin *Thank God
N. B: As it is a noble gas it is mono-atomic so the Ar does not need to be divided by two (not diatomic).
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Olom Reply
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Tamaranimiweremi Reply
CH4 , it is the simplest alkane
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Blessing Reply
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Probably when an object is in space and there are no nearby masses that pull her, and exert gravity
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Getrude Reply
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Because when CO2 dissolves in water forming a weak acid. CO does not dissolve in water as it has strong triple bond.
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Progress Reply
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material containing clay minerals. Clays develop plasticity when wet, due to a molecular film of water surrounding the clay particles, but become hard, brittle and non–plastic upon drying or firing. Most pure clay minerals are white or light-coloured, but natural clays show a variety of colours
due iron oxide. The four types of clay are Earthenware clay, Stoneware clay, Ball clay, and Porcelain. All of them can be used to make pottery, but the end result would differ a lot thanks to their different textures, colors, and flexibilities.
And do you know that god has created human from clay (وَلَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ مِن صَلۡصَـٰلࣲ مِّنۡ حَمَإࣲ مَّسۡنُونࣲ) [سورة الحجر 26] And We did certainly create man out of clay from an altered black mud. You can install Quran from paly store for free with translations.
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You will arrange the elements into row and coloumns according to increasing proton number. You may want to use symbols or their names. Hydrogen, Helium, etc. God has created all these elements from nothing, in Islam we know God is the creator.
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Practice Key Terms 7

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry. OpenStax CNX. May 20, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11760/1.9
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