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Nucleophiles want to be positive so they want to lose electrons. Because Br- is simply a bigger atom its electrons are held farther way therefore making it easier to remove than F-'s. But electronegativity is "electron pulling power" so that can be applied as well.
Nucleophiles are affected by the electronegativity of the element involved. As electronegativity increases, the nucleophilicity of an element decreases, and that is why Br- is a stronger nucleophile than F- (because fluorine's electronegativity is greater than that of bromine).
The stronger nucleophile is the species that has electrons more readily available to be involved in a reaction. Thus, because Br- with its loosely bound 36 electrons, which translates to higher polarizability, is more likely to act as a source of electrons than F- with its tightly bound 10 electrons, which equates to lower polarizability.
Do we need to have the more complex nucleophiles and electrophiles in chapter 4 (the ones drawn out in the first few pages of the chapter) of the organic course reader memorized? Or are those simply for reference?
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