Question #b0edb

1 Answer
Jun 10, 2015

There are no obvious intermolecular forces to consider save dispersion forces. Therefore, boiling point should increase with the number of electrons. The most volatile material is thus ethane.


Dispersion forces are essentially unequal charge distributions (with respect to the electrons, and thus are very transient, i.e. short-lived) on an atom or molecule. It follows that the more electrons an element has, the greater the degree of intermolecular/interparticle forces. This is the reason that as we go down the halogen series, boiling point increases, and volatility decreases - here we deal with a diatomic molecule. Looking at the Noble gases (atomic rather than molecular species!), boiling points likewise increase down the group.