Electronegativity Definition, Periodic Trends, Examples- Chemistry

What is Electronegativity?

Electronegativity is defined as the tendency of an atom in a molecule to attract the shared electron pair towards itself known as electronegativity.

Electronegativity trends can be observed in the periodic table as we move from left to right in a periodic table, the electronegativity increases. so fluorine is the most electronegative element of the periodic table whereas on moving from top to the bottom, the electronegativity decreases.

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Electronegativity Example:

To understand electronegativity, let’s take an example of a hydrogen fluoride molecule.

In an HF molecule, both hydrogen and fluorine share one valence electron to form a covalent bond.

But the shared electron pair is attracted more towards fluorine as compared to hydrogen. The unequal sharing of electron pairs produces partial charge formation due to the electronegativity difference.

Importance of Electronegativity:

On the basis of electronegativity values of an atom, we can:

  1. Predict whether the atom will form an ionic bond or covalent bond.

2. Predict the formation of a polar or non-polar molecules.

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Ionic Bond

Covalent Bond

What is Electronegativity Difference?

Electronegativity difference plays a vital role in the formation of a chemical bond.

If the electronegativity difference is greater than 1.7, the bond will be an ionic bond.

If the difference in the electronegativity is between 0.4 to 1.7, the bond will be a polar bond.


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Chemical Bonding

Ionic Bond

Covalent Bond

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