The D-And-f-Block Elements

  • Question

    Explain giving reasons:

    (i) Transition metals and their compounds generally exhibit a paramagnetic behaviour.

    (ii) The chemistry of actinoids is not as smooth as that of lanthanoids.


    (i) Transition metals show paramagnetic behaviour. Paramagnetism arises due to the presence of unpaired electrons with each electron having a magnetic moment associated with its spin angular momentum and orbital angular momentum. However, in the first transition series, the orbital angular momentum is quenched. Therefore, the resulting paramagnetism is only because of the unpaired electron.


    (a)The general electronic configuration for lanthanoids is [Xe] 54 4f0-14 5d0-1 6s2 and that for actinoids is [Rn] 86 5f1-14 6d0-1 7s2. Unlike 4f orbitals, 5f orbitals are not deeply buried and participate in bonding to a greater extent. In actinoids, the 5forbitals are filled. These 5f orbitals have a poorer shielding effect than 4f orbitals (in lanthanoids). Thus, the effective nuclear charge experienced by electrons in valence shells in case of actinoids is much more that that experienced by lanthanoids.

    (b) Lanthanoids primarily show three oxidation states (+2, +3, +4). Among these oxidation states, +3 states are the most common. Lanthanoids display a limited number of oxidation states because the energy difference between 4f, 5d, and 6s orbitals is quite large. On the other hand, the energy difference between 5f, 6d, and 7s orbitals is very less .hence actinoids display a large number of oxidation states. For example, uranium and plutonium display +3, +4, +5, and +6 oxidation states while neptunium displays +3, +4, +5, and +7. The most common oxidation state in case of actinoids is also +3. Hence, the chemistry of actinoids is not as smooth as that of lanthanoids.

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