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Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry Inorganic chemistry deals with the properties of all of the elements in the periodic table. These elements range from highly reactive metals, such as sodium, to noble metals, such as gold. The nonmetals include solids, liquids, and gases, and range from the aggressive oxidizing agent fluorine to unreactive gases such as helium. Although this variety and diversity are features of any study of inorganic chemistry, there are underlying patterns and trends which enrich and enhance our understanding of the discipline. These trends in reactivity, structure, and properties of the elements and their compounds provide an insight into the landscape of the periodic table and provide a foundation on which to build understanding. The periodic table provides an organizing principle that coordinates and rationalizes the diverse physical and chemical properties of the elements. Periodicity is the regular manner in which the physical and chemical properties of the elements vary with atomic number

Element Proton number Atomic radius (nm) Melting point (oC) 1st ionisation energy (kJ/mol) Electronegativ ity Classification

Li 3 0.152 180 519 0.98

Be 4 0.111 1287 900 1.57

B 5

C 6

N 7

O 8

F 9

Ne 10

0.086 0.077 0.073 0.062 0.032 0.029 2076 799 2.04

Metal -loid

3500 1090 2.55

-220 1400 3.04

-218 1310 3.44

-210 1680 3.90

-249 2080 --


Non metal

Element Proton number Atomic radius (nm) Melting point (oC) 1st ionisation energy (kJ/mol) Electronegativ ity Classification Na 11 0.186 98 Mg 12 0.160 650 Al 13 0.143 660 Si 14 0.118 1423 P 15 0.108 44 S 16 0.106 120 Cl 17 0.099 -101 Ar 18 0.088 -189










1.2 Metal


1.8 Metal -loid




Non metal

3.1 Variation of physical properties of group and period 1. Atomic radius half of the distance between the nuclei of the two closest@ identical atom (or half of the closest internuclear distance) Type Diagram Explanation
Covalent radius (for metalloid and non-metal) Atomic nucleus Metallic Radius (for metal) In the case of covalent molecule, atomic radius is also known as covalent radius. Covalent radius is half the distance between the nuclei of 2 identical atoms covalently bonded. Or simply, covalent radius is half of the bond length between 2 covalently bonded identical atoms. Metallic radius is define as half the distance between the nuclei of neighbouring metal ion in a crystal lattice of a metal. Usually, the metallic radius is greater than covalent radius.

The atomic size of an element is determined by 2 factors. The screening effect of the inner shell electrons which makes the atomic size larger. The screening effect is the result of the mutual repulsion between the electrons in the inner shell with those in the outer shell. Filled inner shells shield the outer electrons more effectively than electrons in the same sub-shell shield each other. The nuclear charge which pulls all the electrons closer to nucleus. As a result of the increasing nuclear charge, atomic size becomes smaller. Hence when 2 factors combine effective nuclear charge, Zeff Zeff = Z (nuclear charge) (screening constant)

The trend of atomic radius when gases down to group atomic increase radius Explanation : When going down to group, nuclear charge increase as number of proton increase together with number of electrons. However, as more electrons filling the shells, the screening effect also increase. Consequently caused the effect nuclear charge decrease and outer most shell electrons are not hold tightly by the nucleus. For these reason, atomic radius increase The trend of atomic radius across the period. When across the decrease period 3, atomic radius . Explanation : When going across period, nuclear charge increases as number of protons increase together with the number of electrons. However, the screening effect remain almost constant because electrons are filling in the same shell. This will caused the effective nuclear charge increases gradually resulting the atomic radius to decrease.

Atomic radius increase

Atomic radius decrease


Ionic radius Ionic radius measures from the ions nucleus to the outermost shell. Diagram below shows the ionic radius for 2 cations from Period 4 and 3 anions from Period 3.





Going across Period

Going down Group

When going across P3- , S2- , Cl- , K+ , Ca2+ the ionic radius decrease When going across these ions, the nuclear charge increase, since the number of protons increase. However, all these ions are isoelectronic (have the same number of electrons), hence the screening effect of these ions remain constant. This will caused the effective nuclear charge to increase, which result the ionic radius decrease when going across these ions. When going down to any group, ionic radius decrease (e.g. :Group 1 Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, Cs+ ) This is due to, as nuclear charge increase, more electrons filling in the shell, which caused the screening effect to increase gradually. As a result, the effective nuclear charge decrease, hence caused the ionic radius to decrease

When the atomic and ionic radius of an element were to compare, student must know why does the atomic radius of an element is greater/smaller than its ionic radius, by using the screening effect and effective nuclear charge
Cation Anion


Atomic radius is larger than cation radius

Atomic radius is smaller than anionic radius Using P and P3- as example ; Electronic configuration of P is 1s22s22p63s23p3. As P accept 3 electrons and form P3- (1s22s22p63s23p6), the effective nuclear charge decrease as the number of shell increase, which will decrease the effective nuclear charge.

Using Mg and Mg2+ as example ; Electronic configuration of Mg is 1s22s22p63s2. When 2 electrons were Explanation donated and form Mg2+ (1s22s22p63s2), the effective nuclear charge increase as the number of shell decrease, which will decrease the screening effect.


Melting point Table below shows the melting point of elements across Period 3

Bonding and Forces


Explanation Elements : Lithium (Li) and Beryllium (Be) Valence electrons of Li and Be are 2s1 and 2s2 respectively. Since Be delocalise more electrons than Li, so melting point of Be is higher than Li

Metallic bonding - formed 2 when electrostatic forces is formed between the delocalised electrons and the positive ion. When Elements : Sodium (Na) , Magnesium (Mg) and electrons were delocalised Aluminum (Al) from a metal, it formed an Valence electrons of Na, Mg and Al are 3s1 , 3s2 electron sea thus interacting 3 and 3s23p1 respectively. Since Na, Mg and Al with the positive ion formed delocalised 1, 2 and 3 electrons respectively, so as a result of donating melting point increase Na < Mg < Al electrons. Thus, the more the electrons delocalised Example : Between Be and Mg by the metal, stronger the Valence electrons of Be and Mg are 2s2 and 3s2 electrostatic forces, Between respectively, indicate they are from the same stronger the metallic bond Period Group. Since Be has smaller metallic radius than Mg, hence greater electrostatic forces, so higher the melting point.

Bonding and Forces


Elements : Boron and Carbon Valence electrons of B and C are 2s22p1 & 2s22p2 respectively, hence B form strong covalent with 3 other boron atoms(via sp2 hybridisation), while C form strong covalent bond with 4 other carbon atoms (via sp3 hybridisation). More energies required to break more covalent bonds form between C, hence C has a higher melting point than B Element : Silicon Valence electron of Si is 3s23p2. So, each Si can form strong covalent bond with 4 other Si atom (via sp3) to form a gigantic covalent network, hence required high temperature to break it.

2 Gigantic structure - each atom are strongly held by using covalent bond (depending on the number of valence electrons that are able to form covalent bond) hence forming a gigantic network which are very stable and required high temperature to break the covalent bond within the gigantic network.

Example : C and Si Valence electrons of C and Si are 2s22p2 & 3s23p2 Betwee respectively. Both of them form sp3 hybridisation between each atom. Since bond length between C-C is n Period shorter than Si-Si, hence stronger covalent bond is form between C-C. That is why carbon has a higher melting point than silicon

Bonding and Forces


Explanation Elements : Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon. Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine exist as diatomic molecule, as N2 O2 and F2, while Neon exist as monoatomic Ne. Boiling point increase from Ne<N2<O2<F2 as the molecular mass increased in the order arranged which increased weak Van Der Waals forces. Phosphorous (P), Sulphur (S), Chlorine (Cl), Argon (Ar) Phosphorous exist as P4, Sulphur exist as S8, Chlorine exist as Cl2, while Argon exist as monoatomic Ar. Boiling point increase from Ar < Cl2 < P4 < S8, as the molecular mass increase in order arranged which increased weak Van Der Waals forces

2 Simple molecules - Nonmetal (except for C) tend to form simple molecule between them by using covalent bond. These molecules are hold weakly by using weak Van Der Waals forces between them, hence it required relatively low temperature to break the weak intermolecular forces between them

Between Period

3.1.4 First ionisation energy The first ionisation energy is the minimum energy required to remove 1 mole of electron from 1 mole atom at gaseous state to form a unipositive ion. M (g) M+(g) + e Three factors are involved in determining in ionisation energy of an element : The distance of valence electrons from the nucleus. The magnitude of the nuclear charge. The effectiveness of the shielding among the orbitals. GENERALLY The nuclear charge increases from sodium to chlorine while the atomic size decreases. Hence, the distance between the valence electrons and the nucleus is getting shorter. In addition, the shielding or screening effect remains almost constant across the period since electrons are filled in the same shell . All these factors contribute to an increase in ionisation energy across the period as valence electrons become more difficult to be removed

Extra note When going down to Group, Ionisation energy decrease. This is due to, when going down to group, nuclear charge increased with the number of electrons. As a result, more shells are used to fill in the electrons. This will cause the screening effect increase, which gradually increase the atomic radius. Hence, the effective nuclear charge decrease, causing the ionisation energy decreased.

When across period, the first ionisation energy generally increase since the nuclear charge across the period .. increase , remain almost constant as electrons while the screening effect ... are filling in the same shell. As a result, the atomic radius increase decrease , which cause the effective nuclear charge .. .. increase the ionisation energy. thus .. There are some anomalies of the trend of ionisation energy when across period. For example, in Period 3, The anomaly occur between ionisation energy of magnesium aluminium and also phosphorous sulphur. Supposedly, the ionisation energy of magnesium is lower than higher aluminium, since the atomic radius of magnesium is . than aluminium. The orbital diagram of electron valence for Mg and Al are as below

3s magnesium



3p aluminium

full-filled 3s orbital are more than stable Since the . apartially filled orbital of 3p in aluminium, thus the energy required is lesser to draw out an electron from a single electron in the 3p .. orbital. For the anomaly occur among the 1st ionisation energy of phosphorous and sulphur, it can be explained by using the orbital diagram of phosphorous and sulphur





phosphorous sulphur half-filled The . 3p orbital in phosphorous are more stable partially filled than . 3p orbital in silicon. Thus the energy is lesser required to withdraw the electron from sulphur . than expected.


Electronegativities & Electron Affinity

Na 0.9 Mg 1.2 Al 1.5 Si 1.8 P 2.1 S 2.5 Cl 3.0 Ar -







1.4 Electronegativities Electronegativities is the relative strength of an atom to attract electrons in a covalent bond which it is bonded. Going across the third period, the increase in the nuclear charge results in a greater attraction for the electrons in the outermost shell. This increase tendency to attract electrons result in an increase in electronegativity 1.5 Electron affinity Electron affinity is the amount of energy being liberated when an atom receive one mole of electron in gaseous state. F (g) + eF- H = - ve kJ/mol Unlike electronegativity (which has no unit), electron affinity explained on how easy an atom receive the electron and form anion (mostly applied when forming lattice crystal) Across period 3, the electron affinity increase, meaning the tendency of the atom to receive an electron (Chlorine is the easiest to form chloride ion)

3.1.7 Predicting position of element using successive ionisation energy When 1st electron is ionised under the following expression : A (g) A+ (g) + e- H1st IE = + a kJ mol-1 ; the energy required is known as the 1st ionisation energy It is possible for A+ to further ionised to form ion with greater charge. When A+ is further ionised, the equation can be expressed as : A+ (g) A2+ (g) + e- H2nd IE = + b kJ mol-1 and the energies used is known as 2nd ionisation energy. It is expected that 2nd ionisation energy is greater than 1st ionisation energy since the effective nuclear charge of A+ (g) is greater than in A (g). The A2+ can further be ionised when 3rd ionisation energies is applied, where A2+ (g) A3+ (g) + e- H3rd IE = + c kJ mol-1 For the energies used to remove each electron, it is known as successive ionisation energies. So, it is possible to remove all electrons in an atom when a massive amount of energies is applied.

No. of electron removed 1st 3rd 5th 7th 9th 11th

Ionisation energy (kJ/mol) 738 7 733 13 629 21 704 31 644 169 996

lg IE

No. of electron removed 2nd 4th 6th 8th 10th 12th

Ionisation energy (kJ/mol) 1 451 10 541 17 995 25 657 35 463 189 371

lg IE

2.87 3.89 4.13 4.34 4.50 5.23

3.16 4.02 4.26 4.41 4.55 5.28

5.5 5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Note the following points of the graph of lg IE against no of electron removed. Each successive ionisation energies increased gradually, indicates for each electron removed, the effective nuclear charge also increased gradually. The 2nd and 3rd ionisation energies difference significantly. This is due to the 3rd electron is removed from an inner shell. Therefore, the screening effect decreased significantly, hence increase the effective nuclear charge greatly. So, greater amount of energies were required to remove the 3rd electron. The same explanation occur between the 10th and 11th ionisation energies, where there were a huge difference between them, indicate that 11th electron were removed from another inner shell

Group 2 : Valence electron : ns2

Group : 15 Valence electron : ns2 np3

Group : 18 Valence electron : ns2 np6

Group : 1 Valence electron : ns1


1 459


1 653

1400 2717 7205 8720 10020 11400

1925 3420 4860 6130 7670 9090

Group : 13 Valence electron : ns2 np1

Group : 17 or 18 Valence electron : ns2 np5/6

Element R


1 362

2 1693

3 3102

4 4604

5 10350

6 11890

7 13700

Group : 14 Valence electron : ns2 np2

Element S


1 259

2 1320

3 2890

4 4200

5 5492

6 9970

7 11020

Group : 15 Valence electron : ns2 np3


Chemical Properties of Period 3

Na Mg Al Si P S Cl Ar

Proton number









Valance Electron









Ionic form










Metallic Bonding

Giant covalent

Simple covalent


Oxidising / reducing agent

Reducing agent

Oxidising agent

3.3.1 Oxidising and reducing ability of Period 3 element. Since the ionisation of sodium, magnesium and aluminium are relatively low, they tend to release electron. In the other word, they tend to be oxidised. By the angle of standard reduction potential, Eored, sodium has the highest tendency to be oxidise as the Eo value is the most negative. Thus metal are strong reducing agent Na+ (aq) + e- Na (s) Eo = - 2.71 V Mg2+ (aq) + 2 e- Mg (s) Eo = - 2.38 V Al3+ (aq) + 3 e- Al (s) Eo = - 1.67 V It is because of the high oxidising ability, it is used in the extraction for some metal. Example Extracting titanium metal : TiCl4 + 2 Mg 2 MgCl2 + Ti Extracting chromium metal : Cr2O3 + 2 Al Al2O3 + 2 Cr As for chlorine, since it has a high electron affinity, it has a tendency to receive an electron. Thus, chlorine is preferably to be reduced. Cl2 (g) + 2e- 2 Cl- (aq) Eo = + 1.36 V

1.3.1 Trend of oxide of Period 3

Element Na Mg Al Si P S Cl

Oxide of element When burned with oxygen










Giant Covalent

Simple covalent


Basic Oxide


Acidic Oxide

1. In the laboratory, sodium and potassium are normally kept under paraffin oil to avoid contact with air. This is because alkali metals are extremely reactive. Sodium burns brilliantly in air (limited supply of oxygen) to form sodium oxide, a white powder. Na2O2 (s) Reaction of sodium with oxygen : 2 Na (s) + O2 (g) When Na2O2 is further heated, it decomposed to form Na2O 2 Na2O (s) + O2 (g) 2 Na2O2 (s) (a) When sodium oxide dissolves in water, a strong alkali, sodium 2 NaOH (aq) + H2O2 (aq) hydroxide is formed. Na2O2 (s) + H2O (l) Sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide have similar properties. They are both prepared industrially through the electrolysis of sodium chloride and potassium chloride solutions. Sodium hydroxide is used in the manufacture of soap and many organic and inorganic compounds whereas potassium hydroxide is used as an electrolyte in some storage batteries 2. Even though magnesium is not as reactive as sodium, it still burns brilliantly in air with a bright light to from magnesium oxide (white powder). Reaction of magnesium with oxygen : 2 Mg (s) + O2 (g) 2 MgO (s) (a) Magnesium oxide is a strong base and will dissolve slowly in water to form magnesium hydroxide, a white solid suspension used to treat acid indigestion MgO (s) + H2O (l) Mg(OH)2 (aq)

3. Aluminium is another reactive metal that, when exposed to air, will react easily with oxygen to form a white oxide coating. 4 Al (s) + 3 O2 (g) 2 Al2O3 (s) This layer of aluminium oxide coating causing the metal to be insoluble in water. Due to its amphoteric porperties, it can react with both acids and alkalis. (a) With acids, it behaves as a base to produce salt and water only. Al2O3 (s) + 6 HCl (aq) 2 AlCl3 (aq) + 3H2O (l) (b) With alkalis, it behaves as an acid and a complexs salt is produced. Al2O3 (s) + 2 NaOH (aq) + 3 H2O (1) 2 NaAl(OH)4 (aq) 4. Silicon, a metalloid, only reacts with oxygen slowly at very high temperature. Silicon dioxide is formed in the reaction. Si (s) + O2 (g) SiO2 (s) (a)Due to its gigantic molecular structure, silicon dioxide does not react with water, but still, it reacted with concentrated alkalis to form silicate ion. SiO2 (s) + 2OH- (aq) SiO32- (aq) + H2O (l)

5. Phosphorus burns readily in air (oxygen) to form acidic oxides. White phosphorus is a highly toxic substance and will burst into flames spontaneously when exposed to oxygen to form phosphorus pentoxide, P4O10. If a limited supply of oxygen is used during burning, a lower form of oxide, phosphorus trioxide, P4O6, is produced. Phosphorous burned with excess oxygen : P4 (s) + 5 O2 (g) P4O10 (s) Phosphorous burned with limited oxygen : P4 (s) + 3 O2 (g) P4O6 (s) (a) Both oxides are acidic and will dissolve in water to form the corresponding acids. Phosphorous pentoxide : P4O10 (s) + 6 H2O (l) 4 H3PO4 (aq) [Phosphoric acid] Phosphorous trioxide : P4O6 (s) + 6 H2O (l) 4 H3PO3 (aq) [Phosphorous acid]

6. Sulphur can from two important oxides, sulphur dioxide, SO2, and sulphur trioxide, SO3. Sulphur burns in air to form sulphur dioxide. S (s) + O2 (g) SO2 (g) When sulphur burn in air : (a) Sulphur dioxide is a pungent, colourless and toxic gas. Being a non-metallic gas, sulphur dioxide dissolves in water to form sulphurous acid. When sulphur dioxide dissolve in water : SO2 (g) + H2O (l) H2SO3 (aq) (b) In excess oxygen, sulphur dioxide will slowly be oxidised to sulphur trioxide. The reaction can be enhanced with the presence of a catalyst like platinum or vanadium (V) oxide. When sulphur burn in excess air : 2 SO2 (g) + O2 (g) 2 SO3 (g) This process in important in Contact Process in industries as sulphuric acid is made in such way. When sulphur trioxide dissolves in water to form sulphuric acid. When sulphur trioxide dissolve in water : SO3 (g) + H2O (l) H2SO4 (aq)

7. Chlorine does not react with oxygen gas under any condition. (a) The oxide of chlorine, Cl2O, is a yellow gas made up by passing dry chlorine gas over fresh precipitated mercury (II) oxide at 400oC. Equation : 2 HgO (s) + 2 Cl2 (g) HgO HgCl2 (s) + Cl2O (g) (b) another oxide of chlorine, Cl2O7, is prepared by adding chloric (VII) acid to phosphorous (V) oxide (act as dehydrating agent) cooled in ice salt. The chlorine (VII) oxide can be distilled off from the mixture Equation : 2 HClO4 (aq) Cl2O7 (l) + H2O (l)


Oxide formula

Reaction equation with oxygen

Melting Oxida point -tion (oC) state 1275 2852 2072 1610 24 580 -73

Ionic/ covalent bond

Acidic / basic oxide

Na Mg Al Si

Na2O2 2 Na + O2 MgO Al2O3 SiO2 P4O6 2 Mg + O2 4 Al + 3 O2 Si + O2 P4 + 3 O2 P4 + 5 O2 S + O2 2 SO2 + O2

Na2O2 2 MgO 2 Al2O3 SiO2 P4O6 P4O10 SO2 2 SO3

+1 +2 +3 +4 +3 +5 +4 +6 +1 +7

ionic ionic ionic covalent covalent covalent covalent covalent covalent covalent

basic basic ampho teric acidic acidic acidic acidic acidic acidic acidic

P4O10 SO2

SO3 Cl2O

17 -20 45


2 HgO (s) + 2 Cl2 (g) HgO HgCl2 (s) + Cl2O (g) 2 HClO4 (aq) Cl2O7 (l) + H2O (l)

3.3.1 The melting point trend of Period 3 oxides. 1. Sodium oxide, magnesium oxide and aluminium oxide are ionic oxide. So, when it is concerning ionic substance, the strength of ionic bond is influenced by charge of both cation and anion, and ionic radius between the oppositely charged ions. 2. Usually, cation with high charge and small radius and anion with high charge small radius has a greater electrostatic attraction forces between them, hence a higher melting point 3. Since sodium ion (Na+) in sodium oxide has a smaller charge and greater cationic radius compare to magnesium ion (Mg2+) in magnesium oxide, so the melting point of sodium oxide is expected to be lower than magnesium oxide.

4. When it comes to aluminium oxide and magnesium oxide, supposedly aluminium oxide has a higher melting point than magnesium oxide (as aluminium has a smaller radius and higher charge compare to magnesium) but magnesium oxide is observed to have much higher melting point compare to aluminium oxide. This is due to the charge density of aluminium is very high, that it caused the aluminium oxide formed has high covalency properties which greatly reduce the ionic strength of the aluminium oxide. The oxide ion is highly polarised by aluminium and reduce the electrostatic forces between the 2 ions 5. For silicon oxide, SiO2, it has a gigantic molecular structure. The covalent bond between silicon and oxygen are strong thus requiring a high energy to break the strong covalent bond. Thats why the melting point of silicon oxide is high. 6. As for phosphorous oxide, sulphur oxide, chlorine oxide, they are held by weak Van Der Waal forces. The weak Van Der Waals forces increased as the molecular mass increase, so the trend of the non-metal oxide is as follow SO2 < Cl2O < SO3 < P4O6 < Cl2O7 < P4O10

MELTING POINT against Period 3 oxide

MgO Al2O3



P4O10 Cl2O7 Na Mg Al Si P S Cl


1.3.0 Reaction of Period 3 element with water

Element Equation of reaction with water Acidic / basic properties of solution


2 Na + 2 H2O Mg + 2 H2O

2 NaOH + H2 Mg(OH)2 + H2

basic basic

Mg Al Si P S Cl

Does not react with water


Cl2 + H2O

HClO + HCl


Alkali metal such as sodium and potassium are very electropositive metal. It reacts vigorously with water to form basic hydroxide solution and releases hydrogen gas. The reactivity increases when goes down to Group 1. Reaction of sodium with water : 2 Na (s) + 2 H2O (l) 2 NaOH (aq) + H2 (g) 2. Since Group 2 metal (earth alkali metal) is less reactive than alkali metal (Group 1), so a certain condition must be obeyed in order for Group 2 to react. For magnesium, it reacted slowly with steam to form magnesium hydroxide and hydrogen gas Reaction of magnesium with steam : Mg (s) + 2 H2O (g) Mg(OH)2 (aq) + H2 (g) 3 Aluminium is a Group 13 element. In nature, its principal ore is bauxite, Al2O3.2H2O. As we move across the Periodic Table from left to right in a given period, there is a gradual decrease in metallic properties. So, although aluminium is regarded as reactive metal, it is not as reactive as sodium or magnesium. It does not react with water because it has a protective layer (oxide) on its surface

Silicon, phosphorous and sulphur does not react with water under any condition. So nothing will be produced. 5. Chlorine, a halogen, is a reactive non-metal. The magnitudes of reactivity and toxicity decrease down the group from fluorine to iodine. Halogen dissolves partially in water to form acids. Chlorine is used to purify water and disinfect swimming pools. When chlorine dissolves in water,it disproportionate to form hydrochloric acid, HCl, and hypochlorous acid, HC1O, are formed. It is the ClO- ions that kill the bacteria in the water. Reaction of chlorine in water : Cl (g) + H2O (1) HCl (aq) + HOCl (aq)