What is inert pair effect in simple words?

Asked by PRAJAY RAIKAR | 28th Nov, 2013, 05:14: PM

Expert Answer:

Inert pair effect refers to the fact that valence electrons in an s orbital penetrate to the nucleus better than electrons in p orbitals, and as a result they are more tightly bound to the nucleus and less able to participate in bond formation. A pair of such electrons is called an inert pair.

or in other words, the tendency of the outermost s electrons to remain nonionized or unshared in compounds of post-transition metals. The term inert pair effect is often used in relation to the increasing stability of oxidation states that are 2 less than the group valency for the heavier elements of groups 13, 14, 15 and 16.

It is an effect seen especially in groups 13 and 14 of the periodic table, in which the heavier elements in the group tend to form compounds with a valency two lower than the expected group valency

The inert pair effect explains why common ions of Pb are Pb4+ and Pb2+, and not just Pb4+.

Answered by Hanisha Vyas | 29th Nov, 2013, 11:37: AM

Queries asked on Sunday & after 7pm from Monday to Saturday will be answered after 12pm the next working day.