What is electron affinity?

2 Answers
Jan 22, 2015

Electron affinity is defined as the enthalpy change for the addition of 1 mole of electrons to 1 mole of atoms in the gaseous state.

E.g. for chlorine:

#Cl_((g))+erarrCl_((g))^-# #Delta_(EA)=-397.5kJ#

Feb 17, 2015

Electron affinity is basically the amount of energy required for an atom to be able to "snatch" and electron from another atom. In other words, how much energy is an atom willing to spend to get another electron?

It is similar to electronegativity in many ways, but is slightly different (to see why, read this article ).

Electron affinity increases as the number of valence electrons in the outer shell increases (doesn't rise beyond 8). This makes sense, because we know that atoms with many valence electrons in their outer shell want that final, extra electron to complete their octet, and be happy eternally. Hence, they'd be willing to invest a lot more energy in getting that.

Hope that helped :)