The Physics Of The Periodic Table

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Group 14 of the periodic table contains a mixture of non-metals (carbon and silicon), a metalloid (germanium), and two metals ( tin and lead). Tin is able to form dihalides and tetrahalides such as SnI2 and SnI4. However, lead will not form tetrahalides as readily as tin3. The tetrahalides of lead will decompose into dihalides due to their instability 3. The stability of the compounds is based on their respective oxidation states. Periodic trends suggest that group 14 oxidation states are normally - 4 as it is increasingly energetically favorable for them to accept electrons in order to complete their valence shells 3. However, due to the metallic properties of tin and lead, they generally lose electrons and therefore have a positive oxidation state. It is a characteristic trend to see heavier elements of the p block forming compounds in which their oxidation number is 2 (less than the group number 3 ). The heavier the atom, the more stable it is in the lower oxidation state. This is due to the inert pair effect 3. This can be correlated to the amount of energy needed to remove an electron (ionization energy), since in the higher oxidation state the p-block electrons and the s-block electrons are removed, while in the lower oxidation state, it is only the p-electrons that are removed and thus, the overall ionization energy is lower. The general periodic trend is that the ionization energy is generally lower for heavy metals, which results in the lower oxidation state being

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