What is inert pair effect?

Asked by Swati Malik | 29th Aug, 2010, 09:02: 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’re more tightly bound to the nucleus and less able to participate in bond formation. A pair of such electrons is called an “inert pair
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  | 30th Aug, 2010, 09:39: AM

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