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Expanded octets (otherwise known as exceptions to the octet rule) exist starting with elements with 4s and 3d orbitals. Due to the nature and arrangement of orbitals, the 4s orbitals fill up before the 3d ones do. This allows additional electrons to be added into the empty 3d orbitals, allowing these exception elements to surpass the octet rule. Notable elements are P, S, and Cl.
Atoms who have an open d-orbital (n is greater than or equal to 3) are able to accept 10 electrons because the d-orbital is able to hold 10 electrons rather than the usual 8. This only works for atoms of elements in the p-block, however.
So just to clarify, alkali metals and alkaline earth metals cannot make use of an expanded octet? Is it because their outermost shells are on a different energy shell than the rest of their electrons, and there's only 2 electrons max in that shell?
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