Nitrogen has positive electron gain enthalpy whereas oxygen has negative. However, oxygen has lower ionisation enthalpy than nitrogen. Explain. - Chemistry

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Short Note

Nitrogen has positive electron gain enthalpy whereas oxygen has negative. However, oxygen has lower ionisation enthalpy than nitrogen. Explain.

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Solution

The outermost electronic configuration of nitrogen is `2s^2 2p_x^1 2p_y^1 2p_z^1`. It is stable because it has exactly half-filled 2p-subshell. Therefore, it has no tendency to accept extra electron and energy has to be supplied to add additional electron. Thus, electron gain enthalpy of nitrogen is slightly positive. On the other hand, the outermost electronic configuration of O is `2s^2 2p_x^2 2p_y^1 2p_z^1`. It has higher positive charge (+8) than nitrogen (+7) and lower atomic size than N. Therefore, it has a tendency to accept an extra electron. Thus, electron gain enthalpy of O is negative. However, oxygen has four electrons in the 2p subshell and can lose one electron to acquire stable half-filled configuration and therefore, it has low ionization enthalpy. Because of stable configuration of N, it cannot readily lose electron and therefore, its ionization enthalpy is higher than that of O.

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Chapter 3: Classification of Elements and Periodicity in Properties - Multiple Choice Questions (Type - I) [Page 33]

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NCERT Exemplar Chemistry Class 11
Chapter 3 Classification of Elements and Periodicity in Properties
Multiple Choice Questions (Type - I) | Q 32 | Page 33

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