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Based on trends in the periodic table for ionization energy, I would've guessed that Nitrogen would have a higher ionization energy than Carbon, as it is further to the right on the periodic table. However, Carbon actually has a higher ionization energy than Nitrogen, and this confused me because it goes against the ionization trend. I was just wondering if someone could please explain to me the reasoning of that. Thanks so much!
nitrogen has an ionization energy of 1400 kJ/mol while carbon has an energy of 1086 kJ/mol. Therefore as expected, nitrogen has higher energy than carbon. There is an irregularity in their electron affinity.
The trends are just general trends. In general, the ionization energies of elements will decrease down the periodic table and increase across. However, there are multiple exceptions. These trends are just in general, they do not apply to every single case. We didn't go over specific exceptions to the trends in class, so I doubt they will be on a quiz or test.
This is the exception to the rule. Carbon has 2 electrons, which only fills up 2 out of 3 orbitals in the p-shell going in one direction. Nitrogen on the other hand has 3 electrons, which fills up 3 out of 3 orbitals going in one direction. Carbon has a higher electron affinity than nitrogen because if nitrogen was to gain another electron, the electron would experience electron repulsion in one of the orbitals, meaning that more energy is required.
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