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Chemistry of the

Elements and periodicity:
period 3
Melting and boiling properties
The melting and boiling points increase across the three
metals due to the increase in strength of their metallic
bonds. The nuclei of the atoms are more positively
charged, the sea of electrons is more negatively charged
and the sea is strongly attracted to the nuclei due to its
close distance.

Silicon has a high melting point due to its covalent

structure which is complex.

Since silicon and aluminum have different types of

bonding in their structures, a comparison between their
melting and boiling point cannot be drawn.
Is a measure of a material’s ability to conduct an electric
current. An electric may be defined as a flow of electric
charge and as such, an element can conduct electricity
provided that it contains electrons that are free to move.

Generally, metals are good conductors of electricity whilst

non-metals are poor conductors.

The trend in electrical conductivity across period 3

elements shows a dramatic increase between sodium and
aluminum followed by a drastic fall at silicon; the remaining
elements do not conduct electricity.
• Sodium, magnesium and aluminum are metals and hence
exhibit metallic bonding in which positive metal ions are
attached to delocalized electrons.

• In going from sodium to aluminum, the number of mobile

delocalized electrons increases. Therefore, there are
more charge carriers and so the electrical conductivity
• Silicon is metalloid and is a semiconductor. Within the
tetrahedral structure, the four electrons in each
silicon atom are held strongly in covalent bonds.

• However, there are a few delocalized electrons which

accounts for the poor conductivity of silicon.

• Unlike a true metal, the conductivity increase with an

increase in temperature.
• Phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine and argon are non-metals
and not conduct electricity because there are no free
delocalized electrons within their structures to convey
an electric current.

• In phosphorus, sulfur and chlorine the outer electrons

are not free to move and carry charge because they are
held strongly in covalent bonds.

• In argon, the outer electrons are not free to move and

carry charge because they are held strongly in a stable
third energy level.

• Assuming that an atom is circular in shape, the atomic radius may be

defined as the distance between the center of the nucleus and the
outermost electron (valence) shell.

• However, according to the quantum theory, there is no well-defined

valence shell since valence electrons do not reside in a specific orbit.

• Rather, an atom’s electrons are described as occupying a region of

space for example atomic orbitals. As a consequence, the size of an
atom is difficult to define and measure accurately.

This is half the inter-nuclear distance between

non-bonded, similar atoms at their closest

This is most easily determined for non-metals and

is particularly useful for the noble gases as they
do not form chemical bonds.
• This is half the shortest inter-nuclear distance between
similar atoms either joined by covalent bond or in a
metallic crystal lattice.

• Covalent radius may be measured for most elements,

since even metals in the vapor phase often exist as
diatomic molecules.

• Metallic radius is restricted to those elements which

form metallic lattices.
• Clearly, the type of bonding will influence the size of
the atom. Hence, the various atomic radii will have
different values for the same element.

• Generally, the covalent radius is the smallest and the

van der Waal radius is the largest.
Regardless of the measure of atomic radius that is chosen,
the general trend across period 3 remains the same.

The two primary factors that affect the atomic radius are
• The size of the charge on the nucleus; and

• The number of shells between the nucleus and the outermost

electrons (inner shells)

 As you go along period 3 from left to right, electrons are

going into the same main outer shell and therefore, the
number of inner shells remains the same. However, due to the
increase in protons in the nucleus, the nuclear charge
Ionisation energies
• Ionisation energy is defined as the minimum amount of
energy needed to remove 1 mole of an electron from an
isolated atom in it's gaseous state.

-Ionisation energy decrease across period 3. To

understand the decrease in ionization, three factors must
be considered:

1. Atomic radius
2. Shielding
3. Nuclear charge
Anomalies in the trend of ionisation energy (Across the
Magnesium vs Aluminium
Mg: 1s²2s²2p63s²
Al: 1s²2s²2p63s²3p¹

• A new subshell is introduced. This means that the 3p

atomic orbital of Al is slightly higher in energy than the 3s
orbital of Mg. (The higher the atomic orbital the lower the
ionisation energy)

Phosphorus vs Sulphur
P: 1s²2s²2p63s²3p³
S: 1s²2s²2p63s²3p⁴

• Both atoms are in the 3p orbital however in Sulphur, the

electrons begin to pair which creates more repulsion,
making it easier for it to remove the electron from it.
The Four Molecular

The four molecular elements are phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine and

argon. These four elements have a lower boiling and melting points
than those of the first four members of the period which have
complex structures.

The magnitudes of the melting and boiling points are e governed

entirely by the size of the molecules.
Phosphorus: has a tetrahedral arrangement (P4). Heating phosphorus in
order to melt disrupts the weaker van den Waals forces between the
molecules rather than breaking the covalent bonds.

Sulfur: has a (S8) ring of atoms. The molecules are bigger than the
phosphorus molecules resulting in stronger van den Waals attractions.

Chlorine: (Cl2)Is a smaller molecule in comparison to sulfur and

phosphorus. It has very weak van der Waals forces. This results in
chlorine having a lower melting point and also a boiling point.

Argon: This is monatomic. Van den Waal’s attractions between the argon
atoms are limited.
The density of an element depends solely on the structure
of the element and the strength of the forces between the

Since an atom is mostly empty space with a mass which is

the nucleus at its core, the relative densities of individual
atoms can be worked out by dividing the atomic mass of
the element by its volume.

Therefore, density can be defined as the mass divided by

the volume of a substance: 𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒
Reaction of the elements in period three with
oxygen, chlorine and water
Variation of oxidation number in oxides and

• The oxidation number depends on the group than an

element bonds to the oxide or chloride is in.

• The highest oxidation number of oxides and chlorides

is equal to the number of valence electrons on the

• Please note that all the valence electrons can be or

are used in chemical bonding.
Acid-Base Character of Oxides &

• From left to right on the periodic table, acid-base

character of oxides and hydroxides go from basic
to acidic. Increasing charge on an anion increases
the production of basic solutions.

• As electronegativity increase, production of ionic

cations increases because elements are more able
to adopt a cation.

• As ionization energy increases, the acidic nature

Metallic Oxides:
Ionic Bonding: no distribution of electron wave function
Ionic oxides are usually basic
(element act as a base when reacting with H2O)

Na2O(s) + H2O(l) --> 2NaOH(aq) --> 2Na+(aq) + 2OH-(aq)

Semimetal Oxides:

• Semimetal are amphoteric (elements acts as an acid

and/or base when reacting depending on pH of solution)
Al2O3 --> Al(OH)3 --(3H+)--> [Al(H2O)6]^(3+) (aq)—
(OH-)--> [Al(OH)4]-(aq)
Non-Metal Oxides:

Covalent Bonding: almost complete distribution of electron

wave function.

Covalent oxides are usually acidic (elements act as an acid

when reacts with
H2O)SO3 + H2O(l) -> H2SO4(aq) -> H+ + HSO4-

• Throughout period 3, the trend is from strongly basic

oxides on the left to an amphoteric oxide in the middle to
strong acids oxides on the right. This trend occurs as a
result of chemical character changes from metallic oxides
(basic) to non-metallic oxides (generally acidic).
Ionic Hydrides
Ionic Bonding: no distribution of electron wave function.

- Bronsted Basic because they will react with proton.

- Lewis Basic because they can be ligands.

CaH2 + 2H2O -> 2H2 + Ca(OH)2

-In this case, CaH2 is basic because it reacts with water (an acid in
this case) to form many hydrides by reducing a proton.
Covalent Hydrides:

- Covalent Bonding: almost complete distribution of

electron wave function
HF + H2O -> F- + H3O+ ....can also be written as
HF(aq) <--> H+(aq) + F-(aq)

- HF is a weak acid that is bronsted acid because it will

loose a proton. Therefore, HF is the weak acid, where the
water acts as silent water, and F- is the weak conjugate
Physical and Chemical Properties of
Oxides in Period III

• The change in bonding type is because of the decreasing

difference in electronegativity between oxygen and the
element as period three is trans versed from left to

• Group 1-3 have ionic bonds while 4-7 have simple

covalent bonds.

• Metallic elements react with water to form alkaline

while non-metals react with water to form acids. This in
tern determines the pH of the oxide.
Types of chemical bonding in
Element Sodium Magnesium Aluminum Silicon (Si) Phosphorus Sulfur (S)
(Na) (Mg) (Al) (P)

Formula of NaCl MgCl2 Al2Cl6 SiCl4 PCl5 SCl2


Chemical Ionic ionic covalent covalent covalent covalent