What Are the Various Factors Due to Which the Ionization Enthalpy of the Main Group Elements Tends to Decrease Down a Group? - Chemistry

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Answer in Brief

What are the various factors due to which the ionization enthalpy of the main group elements tends to decrease down a group?

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Solution 1

The factors responsible for the ionization enthalpy of the main group elements to decrease down a group are listed below:

  1. Increase in the atomic size of elements:
    As we move down a group, the number of shells increases. As a result, the atomic size also increases gradually on moving down a group. As the distance of the valence electrons from the nucleus increases, the electrons are not held very strongly. Thus, they can be removed easily. Hence, on moving down a group, ionization energy decreases.
  2. Increase in the shielding effect:
    The number of inner shells of electrons increases on moving down a group. Therefore, the shielding of the valence electrons from the nucleus by the inner core electrons increases down a group. As a result, the valence electrons are not held very tightly by the nucleus. Hence, the energy required to remove a valence electron decreases down a group.

Solution 2

Atomic size with the increase in atomic size, the number of electron shells increase. Therefore, the force that binds the electrons with the nucleus decreases. The ionization enthalpy thus decreases with the increase in atomic size.

Screening or shielding effect of inner shell electron. With the addition of new shells, the number of inner electron shells which shield the valence electrons increases. As a result, the force of attraction of the nucleus for the valence electrons further decreases and hence the ionization enthalpy decreases.

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Chapter 3: Classification of Elements and Periodicity in Properties - EXERCISES [Page 97]

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NCERT Chemistry Part 1 and 2 Class 11
Chapter 3 Classification of Elements and Periodicity in Properties
EXERCISES | Q 3.18 | Page 97

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