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I know that electrons in atoms or molecules can cause electron distortion in nearby atoms or molecules but what exactly is electron distortion? Why do ions with high electron distortion also have high polarizing power?
Atoms have electron clouds and electron distortion is when that cloud gets distorted. Polarizability is how easily an electron cloud can be distorted. So if ions have high electron distortion that means that their electron cloud is distorted easily, and as a result they have high polarizability or high polarizing power.
Electron distortion is when electrons are not bound as tightly to the nucleus and each atom has a larger electron cloud and due to this loosely attached electrons, it is easier for them to shift around which causes the electron clouds to become more easily distorted. Ions with high electron distortion have high polarizing power because they are small charged cations and due to their small size, the nucleus is pulling on the anion's electrons strongly which is causing the distortion.
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