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What are free radicals?
unpaired electron indicate odd number of valence shell electrons
For example :
Hydrogen atom having unpaired valence electron (1e-).
Similarly Chlorine atom having unpaired valence electron (7e-).
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What is Homolytic Cleavage?
Covalent bond breakage in which the shared electrons is split evenly between the products.
Representation of free radical:
unpaired valence shell electron in free radical is represented by a dot .
Formation of Chlorine free radicals :
Cl2 is a stable Chlorine molecule .When the homolytic cleavage of the chlorine molecule takes place in the presence of light ,it will results in the even distribution of electrons between the products as chlorine free radicals .
As you can see in the diagram that the chlorine free radicals having 7 valence electrons (unpaired / odd electron numbers) indicates chlorine free radical formation.
Why free radicals are highly reactive?
free radicals are highly reactive due to the unpaired valence electron.
Properties of free radicals:
- Free radicals having unpaired valence electrons
- Free radicals are highly reactive
- Free radicals are paramagnetic in nature
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