Answer the following
Europium and ytterbium behave as good reducing agents in the +2 oxidation state explain.
i. Europium (Eu) and Ytterbium (Yb) show +2 oxidation states. Their electronic configurations are given below:
Eu = [Xe] 4f7 6s2 ; Eu2+ = [Xe] 4f7
Yb = [Xe] 4f14 6s2 ; Yb2+ = [Xe] 4f14
ii. It is clear from the configuration of Eu that Eu2+ is favoured by its half-filled f-subshell. But it can be easily converted into stable Eu3+ by the loss of an electron. Due to this reason, Eu2+ is a good reducing agent.
iii. Similarly, Yb2+ ion is stabilized due to completely filled f-subshell. It can be easily converted into Yb3+ by the loss of an electron. Due to this reason, Yb2+ is a good reducing agent.