The nonmetals are aspects located in the upper right portion of the regular table. Your properties and also behavior space quite different from those of steels on the left side. Under common conditions, more than half of the nonmetals room gases, one is a liquid, and the rest encompass some that the softest and hardest of solids. The nonmetals exhibition a rich range of chemical behaviors. They include the many reactive and least reactive the elements, and also they kind many different ionic and covalent compounds. This ar presents an overview of the properties and chemical behaviors of the nonmetals, and also the chemistry of details elements. Many of these nonmetals are important in organic systems.

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In plenty of cases, patterns in electronegativity allow us come predict the kind of bonding and also the physical says in compounds involving the nonmetals. We recognize that electronegativity decreases as we move down a provided group and increases as we move from left to right across a period. The nonmetals have greater electronegativities than do metals, and compounds formed in between metals and also nonmetals are usually ionic in nature since of the large differences in electronegativity between them. The metals kind cations, the nonmetals type anions, and the result compounds space solids under regular conditions. Top top the various other hand, compound formed between two or much more nonmetals have small differences in electronegativity between the atoms, and also covalent bonding—sharing that electrons—results. These substances tend to be molecule in nature and also are gases, liquids, or volatile solids at room temperature and also pressure.

In normal chemical processes, nonmetals carry out not type monatomic hopeful ions (cations) because their ionization energies space too high. All monatomic nonmetal ions room anions; examples incorporate the chloride ion, Cl−, the nitride ion, N3−, and also the selenide ion, Se2−.

The common oxidation claims that the nonmetals exhibition in their ionic and also covalent compound are presented in figure 1. Remember the an facet exhibits a confident oxidation state when merged with a more electronegative element and that it exhibits a an adverse oxidation state when merged with a much less electronegative element.

Figure 1. Nonmetals exhibition these typical oxidation claims in ionic and also covalent compounds.

The an initial member of each nonmetal team exhibits various behaviors, in countless respects, native the other group members. The reasons for this encompass smaller size, better ionization energy, and also (most important) the fact that the very first member that each group has only four valence orbitals (one 2s and three 2p) accessible for bonding, vice versa, other team members have actually empty d orbitals in their valence shells, making feasible five, six, or even much more bonds around the central atom. For example, nitrogen forms only NF3, vice versa, phosphorus develops both PF3 and PF5.

Another difference in between the an initial group member and also subsequent members is the greater capacity of the first member to form π bonds. This is primarily a role of the smaller dimension of the an initial member of every group, i beg your pardon allows better overlap of atom orbitals. Nonmetals, other than the an initial member of each group, rarely form π bonds to nonmetals that space the very first member of a group. For example, sulfur-oxygen π bonds space well known, vice versa, sulfur does not normally kind stable π bonds to itself.

The variety of oxidation states displayed by most of the nonmetals means that many of their chemical reactions involve alters in oxidation state with oxidation-reduction reactions. Over there are five general elements of the oxidation-reduction chemistry:

Nonmetals oxidize most metals. The oxidation state of the metal becomes hopeful as it undergoes oxidation and that of the nonmetal becomes negative as it undergoes reduction. Because that example:
eginarraylll 4 extFe(s);+; & 3 extO_2(g);longrightarrow; & 2 extFe_2 extO_3(s) \<0.5em> 0 & 0 & +3;-2 endarray
With the exception of nitrogen and carbon, i beg your pardon are bad oxidizing agents, a an ext electronegative nonmetal oxidizes a less electronegative nonmetal or the anion of the nonmetal:
eginarraylll extS(s);+; & extO_2(g);longrightarrow; & 2 extSO_2(s) \<0.5em> 0 & 0 & +4;-2 endarray
eginarrayll extCl_2(g);+;2 extI^-(aq);longrightarrow; & extI_2(s);+;2 extCl^-(aq) \<0.5em> 0 & 0 endarray
Fluorine and oxygen are the the strongest oxidizing agents within their corresponding groups; each oxidizes every the elements that lie listed below it in the group. Within any kind of period, the strongest oxidizing agent is in team 17. A nonmetal often oxidizes an element that lies to its left in the same period. For example:
eginarraylll 2 extAs(s);+; & 3 extBr_2(l);longrightarrow; & 2 extAsBr_3(s) \<0.5em> 0 & 0 & +3;-1 endarray
The more powerful a nonmetal is as an oxidizing agent, the more daunting it is come oxidize the anion developed by the nonmetal. This way that the most stable negative ions are developed by facets at the height of the group or in group 17 that the period.Fluorine and also oxygen space the the strongest oxidizing aspects known. Fluorine walk not form compounds in which it exhibits hopeful oxidation states; oxygen exhibits a optimistic oxidation state just when merged with fluorine. Because that example:
eginarraylll 2 extF_2(g);+;2 extOH^-(aq);longrightarrow; & extOF_2(g);+; & 2 extF^-(aq);+; extH_2 extO(l) \<0.5em> 0 & +2 & -1 endarray

With the exemption of most of the noble gases, all nonmetals kind compounds through oxygen, yielding covalent oxides. Most of these oxides space acidic, that is, castle react with water to form oxyacids. Recall indigenous the acid-base chapter the an oxyacid is an mountain consisting that hydrogen, oxygen, and some other element. Remarkable exceptions space carbon monoxide, CO, nitrous oxide, N2O, and also nitric oxide, NO. There room three characteristics of this acidic oxides:

Oxides such together SO2 and N2O5, in i beg your pardon the nonmetal exhibits one of its typical oxidation states, space acid anhydrides and also react with water to form acids with no change in oxidation state. The product is an oxyacid. For example:
extSO_2(g);+; extH_2 extO(l);longrightarrow; extH_2 extSO_3(aq)
extN_2 extO_5(s);+; extH_2 extO(l);longrightarrow;2 extHNO_3(aq)
Those oxides such as NO2 and ClO2, in i beg your pardon the nonmetal does not exhibit among its usual oxidation states, additionally react v water. In these reactions, the nonmetal is both oxidized and reduced. Because that example:
eginarraylll 3 extNO_2(g);+; extH_2 extO(l);longrightarrow; & 2 extHNO_3(aq);+; & extNO(g) \<0.5em> +4 & +5 & +2 endarray

Reactions in i beg your pardon the same element is both oxidized and also reduced are called disproportionation reactions.The acid strength rises as the electronegativity of the main atom increases. To find out more, view the discussion in the chapter on acid-base chemistry.The binary hydrogen compound of the nonmetals additionally exhibit an acidic behavior in water, although just HCl, HBr, and HI are strong acids. The acid toughness of the nonmetal hydrogen compounds increases from left to right across a duration and under a group. Because that example, ammonia, NH3, is a weaker acid 보다 is water, H2O, i m sorry is weaker 보다 is hydrogen fluoride, HF. Water, H2O, is additionally a weaker acid than is hydrogen sulfide, H2S, i beg your pardon is weaker 보다 is hydrogen selenide, H2Se. Weaker acidic character indicates greater straightforward character.

Structures the the Nonmetals

The structures of the nonmetals differ significantly from those of metals. Metals crystallize in carefully packed arrays that perform not contain molecule or covalent bonds. Nonmetal structures contain covalent bonds, and many nonmetals consist of of separation, personal, instance molecules. The electron in nonmetals room localized in covalent bonds, conversely, in a metal, over there is delocalization of the electrons throughout the solid.

The noble gases space all monatomic, vice versa, the other nonmetal gases—hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, and chlorine—normally exist together the diatomic molecule H2, N2, O2, F2, and Cl2. The various other halogens are likewise diatomic; Br2 is a liquid and also I2 exists as a solid under common conditions. The changes in state as one moves down the halogen family members offer excellent instances of the enhancing strength the intermolecular London pressures with enhancing molecular mass and also increasing polarizability.

Oxygen has actually two allotropes: O2, dioxygen, and also O3, ozone. Phosphorus has three usual allotropes, generally referred to by your colors: white, red, and black. Sulfur has several allotropes. Over there are also many carbon allotropes. Most human being know of diamond, graphite, and also charcoal, however fewer human being know of the recent discovery of fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and also graphene.

Descriptions the the physics properties of 3 nonmetals that room characteristic of molecular solids follow.


Carbon wake up in the uncombined (elemental) state in numerous forms, such together diamond, graphite, charcoal, coke, carbon black, graphene, and also fullerene.

Diamond, presented in number 2, is a very hard crystalline product that is colorless and transparent once pure. Every atom develops four solitary bonds to four other atom at the corners of a tetrahedron (sp3 hybridization); this renders the diamond a gigantic molecule. Carbon-carbon solitary bonds are very strong, and, due to the fact that they expand throughout the decision to form a three-dimensional network, the crystals are really hard and also have high melting points (~4400 °C).

Figure 2. (a) Diamond and (b) graphite room two develops of carbon. (c) In the crystal framework of diamond, the covalent bonds type three-dimensional tetrahedrons. (d) In the crystal framework of graphite, each planar layer is created of six-membered rings. (credit a: alteration of work-related by “Fancy Diamonds”/Flickr; credit transaction b: modification of occupational from

Graphite, likewise shown in number 2, is a soft, slippery, grayish-black solid that conducts electricity. This properties relate come its structure, which is composed of class of carbon atoms, through each atom surrounded by three other carbon atoms in a trigonal planar arrangement. Every carbon atom in graphite creates three σ bonds, one to each of that is nearest neighbors, by method of sp2-hybrid orbitals. The unhybridized p orbit on each carbon atom will certainly overlap unhybridized orbitals on adjacent carbon atoms in the same layer to kind π bonds. Plenty of resonance forms are necessary to define the digital structure the a graphite layer; figure 3 illustrates 2 of this forms.

Figure 3. (a) Carbon atom in graphite have actually unhybridized p orbitals. Each ns orbital is perpendicular come the aircraft of carbon atoms. (b) These space two that the countless resonance develops of graphite essential to explain its digital structure as a resonance hybrid.

Atoms within a graphite layer are bonded together tightly by the σ and also π bonds; however, the forces between layers room weak. London dispersion pressures hold the great together. To find out more, see the conversation of this weak forces in the chapter on liquids and also solids. The weak forces in between layers offer graphite the soft, flaky personality that renders it valuable as the so-called “lead” in pencils and the slippery personality that provides it advantageous as a lubricant. The loosely organized electrons in the resonating π bonds deserve to move transparent the solid and are responsible for the electric conductivity that graphite.

Other forms of elemental carbon include carbon black, charcoal, and coke. Carbon black is one amorphous type of carbon all set by the incomplete burning of organic gas, CH4. The is possible to produce charcoal and also coke by heater wood and also coal, respectively, in ~ high temperature in the lack of air.

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Recently, new forms of element carbon molecules have actually been identified in the soot generated by a smoky flame and also in the vapor produced when graphite is boil to very high temperature in a vacuum or in helium. One of these new forms, first isolated by Professor Richard Smalley and also coworkers in ~ Rice University, consists of icosahedral (soccer-ball-shaped) molecules that contain 60 carbon atoms, C60. This is buckminsterfullerene (often referred to as bucky balls) ~ the architect Buckminster Fuller, that designed domed structures, which have a comparable appearance (Figure 4).