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I have been having trouble with this lately. When writing the electron configuration for an ion like Sn^4+, do we remove the 4 electrons from the 4d orbital or the 5s and 5p orbitals? I wrote the configuration as [Kr]4d^10, removing the 4 electrons from the 5s^2 and 5p^2. It does not feel right because it seems like I am ignoring the elements in between with the 4d electrons, if that makes sense. Any clarifications or easier ways to think about this? Thank you!
Writing the electron configuration of an ion is all about removing the electrons that require the least energy to remove. For Se, the 5s and 5p orbitals are further away from the nucleus than 4d. Therefore the electrons in the 5s and 5p orbitals are more weakly attracted to the nucleus than those in the 4d orbital. It would require more energy to remove the 4d electrons instead of the 5s electrons, so the 5s electrons are removed first.
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