# How many unpaired electrons are in a zinc atom?

Feb 16, 2017

zero

#### Explanation:

The electron configuration of Zinc is
$1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{6} 3 {s}^{2} 3 {p}^{6} 4 {s}^{2} 3 {d}^{10}$

All of the electron orbital in the first three energy levels are filled.
The 4s sub level is also filled and the 3d sub shell is filled. There are no unpaired electrons in Zinc.

Zinc is unusually stable because of the lack of unpaired electrons. Steel nails are often coated with zinc to keep the nails from rusting, because zinc is relatively unreactive.

The 3d electrons are technically part of the third electron shell. The filled 3d orbitals become part of the third shell and are stable. The 2 $4 {s}^{2}$ are the electrons that are lost and used for bonding.

Feb 16, 2017

Zero. All electrons are paired in a neutral zinc atom in its ground state.

#### Explanation:

The electron configuration of a neutral zinc atom in its ground state is $\text{1s"^2"2s"^2"2p"^6"3s"^2"3p"^6"3d"^10"4s"^2}$. The fact that the electron configuration shows that all sublevels are full, indicates that there are no unpaired electrons.

The diagram below shows the orbital diagram for a neutral zinc atom in its ground state.