which term describes the degree to which an element attracts electrons

The degree of electron attraction of an element can be described by the term Van der Waals attraction. The degree of attraction depends on whether a compound donates or loses electrons. The compound that donates electrons is often referred to as an electron donor.

Van der Waals attraction

The Van der Waals force is a relatively weak electric force that holds together neutral molecules in gases, liquids and solids. It is named after the Dutch physicist Johannes Diderik van der Waals, who first postulated the existence of intermolecular forces. These forces can help hold solids together, but they are weaker than stronger bonds.

Van der Waals forces also include London dispersion forces. These forces are weak, but can cause temporary dipoles in nonpolar molecules. These temporary dipoles can then induce a dipole in neighboring molecules, resulting in attraction.

The Van der Waals attraction of a material depends on its atomic radius. An element with a large radius is said to have a high van der Waals attraction. Similarly, an atom with a small radius will have low van der Waals attraction.

In order for hydrogen bonds to form, a highly electronegative atom must be coupled with a hydrogen atom. The strength of hydrogen bonds is intermediate between weak van der Waals forces and strong covalent bonds. The energy needed to dissociate a hydrogen bond depends on the shared electron attraction. Hydrogen-bonded compounds have higher boiling points and lower vapour pressure than their non-hydrogen counterparts.

All interactions with electrons have some degree of electron friction. The maximum electron friction is present in the region of the inflexion point of the potential energy curve. In an open system, this friction is equal to the Ehrenfest force. It is important to consider this force when examining the mechanics of atomic interactions.


The number of electrons that can be attracted to an element depends on its electronegativity. Higher electronegativity is related to more electrons in the nucleus. Electronegativity is also related to polarity. When a substance has more electrons in its nucleus, it will be more polar and therefore have a higher electronegativity.

Electronegativity is used to compare different elements and to predict the nature of their bonds. However, it is important to note that this property is only a rough approximation. The polar-covalent-ionic scale is a continuum; even the most ionic bond has a covalent character.

Electronegativity is not constant across the periodic table, but it does tend to increase with increasing value in the groups and periods. The most electronegative element is fluorine and the least electronegative is francium. Although helium does not fall into the Pauling scale, it falls under the Allred-Rochow scale, which is the scale used to describe the electronegativity of inner transition metals. The trends for electronegativity are quite predictable for the main group elements.

Electronegativity of two atoms is important in determining the type of ionic bond. A small difference in electronegativity indicates a non-polar or covalent bond, while a large difference indicates a polar-ionic bond.

Fluorine’s higher electronegativity means that it will transfer its valence electron from Li to F, forming Li+ and F-ions. The resulting bond will be ionic, and this property will also be reflected in the bond polarity of the molecule.

Electronegativity is also important for determining the properties of a substance. When two atoms have opposite electronegativity, the latter will attract electrons more strongly. Hence, in the case of water, oxygen is more electronegative than hydrogen.

Ionic character

The ionic character of an element is a property that enables it to attract electrons from other atoms in its vicinity. This property can be calculated from the dipole moments and bond distances of many substances. An element with less than 100% ionic character will have less than 99% bonding. The degree of electron attraction will increase with an increase in dipole-dipole interactions.

Ionic character is an important property when it comes to chemistry. It indicates how well an element attracts electrons from other elements. A chemical bond is ionic when electronegativity is higher than 1.7. The opposite occurs for nonionic bonds.

The degree of electronegativity of an element depends on the size of its atom. The smaller an atom is, the more electronegativity it has. This property also relates to the distance of electrons from an element’s nucleus. High electronegativity elements are typically nonmetals. High electronegativity elements act as oxidants in chemical reactions.

Ionic character of atoms is determined by its outer electron shell. Elements with an incomplete outer shell will behave similarly to those with a filled outer shell. While full shell elements are metals, incomplete shells are nonmetals and inert gases.

Small cations are polarized and have a greater positive charge. They are more covalent than large cations. A large anion, on the other hand, has looser outer electrons and can be distorted by a cation.

The degree to which an element attracts electrons depends on the electronegativity of its nucleus. The higher the value of this property, the more attractive the atom is to other electrons. It also depends on the atom’s electron affinity.

Dipole moment

A molecule has a dipole moment when the atoms share electrons unequally. In other words, the electronegative atom shares a lone pair of electrons with the more electronegative atom. The length of the dipole vector is proportional to the difference in electronegativity between the two atoms. An example of this is the water molecule, which is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.

Atoms have dipole moments that are defined by the first-order Stark effect. These dipoles are proportional to the difference in charge between the atoms and are non-vanishing. However, the dipole of an element is not always symmetrical; it can be opposite-polarity.

The electronegativity of an element is measured using the electronegativity scale developed by Linus Pauling. The most electronegative element is fluorine, while the least electronegative element is sodium. While sodium is 0.9 electronegative, fluorine is 2.5.

A dipole moment is a property of an element that describes the degree to which the electrons in its nucleus are attracted to it. A bar magnet possesses a dipole moment, indicating its magnetic attraction. Its poles are not monopoles but are referred to as the north and south poles.

The dipole moment of water is a good example of a polar molecule. The electrons in the water molecule are localized around the oxygen atom, which is more electronegative than the hydrogen atom. This leads to the bent structure of the water molecule. However, the dipole moment of the oxygen-hydrogen bond is not zero, meaning the net dipole moment of the water molecule is 1.84D.

When atoms are in a covalent or ionic bond, the dipole moment of each of the atoms affects the bond’s polarity. The larger the difference between the two atoms’ electronegativity, the larger the dipole moment. In general, the larger the dipole moment is, the more electronegative the molecule is.

A dipole moment is the magnitude of the polarity of a bond. It is listed in Table 1.2, and is relatively constant from compound to compound. For instance, carbon bonds with other elements are polar. This is true of the carbon-oxygen double bond in formaldehyde and the carbon-nitrogen triple bond in acetonitrile.

Chelsea Glover