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Why Does the Reactivity of Nitrogen Differ from Phosphorus? - Chemistry

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Why does the reactivity of nitrogen differ from phosphorus?

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Solution 1

Nitrogen is chemically less reactive. This is because of the high stability of its molecule, N2. In N2, the two nitrogen atoms form a triple bond. This triple bond has very high bond strength, which is very difficult to break. It is because of nitrogen’s small size that it is able to form pπ−pπ bonds with itself. This property is not exhibited by atoms such as phosphorus. Thus, phosphorus is more reactive than nitrogen.

Solution 2

N2 exist as a diatomic molecule containing triple bond.batoeen two N-atoms. Due to the presence —of triple bond betweep the two N-atoms, the bond dissociation energy is large (941 .4 kJ mol-1 ). As aresult of this N2 is inert and unreactive whereas, phosphorus exists as a tetratomic molecule, containg P – P single bond. Due to the presence of single bond, the bond dissociation energy is weaker (213 kJmol-1 ) than N a N triple bond (941 .4 kJ mol-1 ) and moreover due to presence of angular strain in P4 tetrahedra. As a result of this, phosphorus is much more reactive than nitrogen.

Concept: P - Block Group 15 Elements - Oxides of Nitrogen
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NCERT Class 12 Chemistry
Chapter 7 The p-block Elements
Q 2 | Page 207

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