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oxygen has a lower ionization energy than nitrogen because nitrogen is more stable. Nitrogen has one electron in each of its 2p-orbitals, while oxygen has 2 electrons in one 2p-orbital and one electron in each of the other two. This makes nitrogen more stable as its electrons are more evenly distributed through its 2p-orbitals. Since ionization energy is the energy needed to remove an electron, oxygen's would be lower so that is 4th electron can e more easily removed to reach nitrogen's valence configuration.
Because N has a full half-shell and the orbitals are equally filled by one electron, it is more stable. Oxygen is closer to having a full octet and wants another electron more. It would be harder to take an electron from Oxygen's valence shell.
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