How would you describe the electronegativity of an element?

1 Answer
Jun 14, 2017

The electronegativity of an atom or element is the strength of attraction for more electrons by that element.


The protons of an atom will always have an attraction for electrons.
Some atoms because of the electron configuration have more attraction than other atoms. While other atoms have very little attraction for electrons.

Non metals generally have high electronegativities. Non metals have an electron configuration that requires more electrons to be stable. Also as the number of protons increases across a period the electrons are drawn closer to the nucleus, This increases the attraction of non metal elements for electrons.

Metals especially Groups IA and II A have very low electronegativities. Metals have an electron configuration that requires fewer electrons to be stable. Metal generally tend to lose or transfer electrons to other elements that have a greater attraction for electrons. Metals have the same large valance shells as non metals but fewer protons to draw the electrons in toward the nucleus. This decreases the attraction of metal elements for electrons.

Electronegativity is the attraction that the element has for electrons. The higher the electronegativity the greater the attraction for electrons.