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Key Questions

  • Answer:

    #"Electronegativity is conceived to be the ability......"#


    Electronegativity is conceived to be the ability of atom involved in a chemical bond to polarize electron density towards itself. There are various scales, of which the Pauling scale was the earliest, and it is still most widely used. Pauling originally based his scale on ionization energies, and electron affinities. He then normalized the scales so that they gave values roughly between #0-4#.

    Electronegativity is known to increase across a Period, from left to right across the Table (ignoring the Noble Gases), and DECREASE down a Group. And thus nitrogen, oxygen, and fluorine are the more electronegative atoms.

  • The electronegativity of an element helps us to determine how much it will want to either gain or lose electrons in a chemical reaction. This is great for knowing if a reaction will occur or not.

    We can determine the compound is ionic, polar or nonpolar by the difference in electronegativity.




    In any molecule, the central atom is going to be the least electronegative atom.

    • The electronegativity difference between the two atoms that are interacting with one another determines the interaction between them.

    If the atoms that are bonding have identical electronegativities, then it's a completely nonpolar covalent bond. This doesn't happen in the real world unless the two atoms are of the same element. In a practical sense, any two elements with an electronegativity difference less than 0.3 is considered to be nonpolar covalent.

    As the difference between the atoms increases, the covalent bond becomes increasingly polar. At a polarity difference of 1.7 (this changes depending on who you ask) we consider it no longer to be a covalent bond and to be the electrostatic interactions characteristic in an ionic compound.

    Just so you know, you shouldn't take these values as exact. ALL interactions between adjacent atoms involve some sharing of electrons, no matter how big the difference in electronegativity. Sure, you wouldn't expect much sharing in KF, but there's a little sharing of electrons anyway. There's certainly no big cutoff that happens at a difference of 1.7 Pauling Electronegativity units.


    An example:


    What is the bond type?

    • Here electronegativity difference is #1.4#

    • So It's polar covalent..

    If you interesting to know more about electronegativtiy feel free to visit here