Cations and polarizing power

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Cations and polarizing power

Postby AlyssaBei_1F » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:27 pm

Can someone explain to me why smaller and more highly charged cations have more polarizing power?

katherinemurk 2B
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Re: Cations and polarizing power

Postby katherinemurk 2B » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:48 pm

Higher polarizing power refers to "atoms and ions that CAN cause large distortions." I capitalized "can" because that word made me understand what is meant by polarizing power. So basically the higher poloarizing power an atom has, the more it can pull electrons toward it. Small, highly charged cations have high polarizing power because they are pulling electrons toward it, so when they bond with other atoms they are more likely to "distort" the electrons toward themselves.

Neil Hsu 2A
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:16 am

Re: Cations and polarizing power

Postby Neil Hsu 2A » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:34 am

Another way to look at it is that polarizing power is the ability of the cation to attract electrons (which cause distortions in the electrons of anions). Looking at it this way, smaller, highly-charge cations have the ability to attract electrons more, which makes them have a higher polarizing power. The high charge allows them to be able to pull the negative electrons more and the smaller radius accounts for less shielding from subshells as well as a greater attractive force from the positive nucleus. These two factors greatly increase the polarizing power of a cation.

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