Department of Pre-University Education, KarnatakaPUC Karnataka Science Class 12
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Zr and Hf have almost similar atomic radii - Chemistry

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Account for the following :

Zr and Hf have almost similar atomic radii.

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Solution

Due to lanthanide contraction, Zr and Hf have almost similar atomic radii. It can be explained on the basis of shielding effect. The electrons present in inner shells, shield the outer electrons from nuclear charge, making them experience a low effective nuclear charge. The shielding effect exerted by the electrons decreases in the order s > p > d > f. The f subshell poorly shields the outer electrons from nuclear attraction, which results in more attractive pull of nucleus on outer electron. In case of post lanthanide elements like Hf, 4f subshell is filled and it is not very effective at shielding the outer shell electrons. Therefore, Zr and Hf have almost similar atomic radii.

Concept: F-block Elements - The Lanthanoids
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