Will an ionic silicon atom be diamagnetic or paramagnetic?

1 Answer
Jul 31, 2017



When an atom has no unpaired electrons, it is diamagnetic. If there are unpaired electrons, it is paramagnetic. Silicon has an electron configuration of #1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^2# The two electrons in the 3p energy level are unpaired because of the Pauli Exclusion Principle. Since there are any unpaired electrons in the atom, it is considered paramagnetic. However, if the silicon atom had an oxidation state of +4 or -4, it would be diamagnetic due to it have no unpaired electrons.