Wed October 24, 2012 By: Akshay

what is inert pair eggect ? how does it vary down the group?

Expert Reply
Thu October 25, 2012
The inert pair effect is the reluctance of s-electrons to take part in bond formation. A chemical consequence is the occurrence of oxidation states which are two units less than the group oxidation. For instance the more stable Pb state is Pb(II), with Pb(IV) being particularly unstable (e.g. the reduction PbCl4  PbCl2 is easy).
Bigger atom have poor shielding effect as the d or f electrons are situated very far from each other. So, they give the nucleus to strengthen their hold on the s-electrons
and as s electrons show high penetrating effect i.e. they prefer to be near the nucleus.
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