“Iso” means equal whereas Isoelectronic as the name suggests means the equal charge or equal electric. Two or more atoms, molecules, or ions that have the same number of electrons and electronic structure are known to be isoelectronic. Isoelectronic species typically have the same chemical properties. Thus, the atoms or ions with the same electronic configurations are said to be isoelectronic to one another. In other words, it can also be stated as the ions or atoms that have the same number of electrons are isoelectronic species. The elements might be different when the number of electrons is equal which is why they are termed as isoelectronic species.
The isoelectronic species are said to have the property of isoelectronic. Isoelectronicity is a phenomenon between two or more molecules with the same structure and electronic configuration. Isoelectronicity has a few applications. It is a phenomenon that can be used to find rare or unknown compounds by comparing their configuration with the known compounds.
Any two or more atoms, ions, or molecules that have the same number of electrons are termed isoelectronic species. Isoelectronic species do not necessarily have to be the same elements. The elements may differ.
Isoelectronic Species Examples
Some of the examples of isoelectronic species are as follows:
The electronic configuration of the isoelectronic pair is 1s² 2s² 2p6 .
N3-, Al3+, Mg2+, for N3- the number of electrons would be 10, that is 7 + 3. For Al3+ would be 10, and for Mg2+ it’s 10.
OH-, H2O both have 18 electrons.
How to Find Isoelectronic Species
To find whether a pair of species is isoelectronic or not look at the calculations below:
C=6e−, O=8e−, and 2e− from negative charge.
So, CO32−⇒ 6 + (3×8) + 2 = 8 + 24 = 32 electrons
In the same way, for NO3− , N = 7e−, O = 8e−
NO3− (total electrons) =7 + (3×8) + 1 = 32 electrons
Both CO32−and NO3− have 32 electrons each; therefore, they are isoelectronic.
PO43−⇒15+ (8×9) +3=15+3+32=50 electrons
and SO42−⇒S has 16 electrons
SO42−⇒16+ (4×8) +2=16+2+32=50 electrons
Thus, PO43−and SO42− are isoelectronic.
CO and N2
Here, the atomic number for C=6, O=8, and N=7.
6+8 and 7+7 =14.
As both have 14 electrons, therefore, they are isoelectronic.
Two or more ions that have the same number of electrons are termed isoelectronic ions. Some of the examples of isoelectronic ions are the K+ ion which is isoelectronic with the Ca2+ ion. Also, carbon monoxide CO is isoelectronic to nitrogen N2 and NO+.
Two or more molecules or a group of two or more atoms that have the same electronic configuration and the same structure but differ by some specific elements in the structure are known as isoelectronic molecules.
Some examples of isoelectronic molecules include CO, NO+, and Nitrogen (N2).
The atoms, ions, or molecules form an isoelectronic series when they all have the same number of electrons. Examples of an isoelectronic series include:
O2−, F−, Na+, Mg2+, Al3+ all have 10 electrons.
Another example of an isoelectronic series is:
N3-, Al3+, Mg2+: All these have an equal number of electrons, i.e., 10.
He, H-, and Li+ are all isoelectronic species as all of them have 2 electrons (i.e. have the same electronic configuration).
It must also be noted here that all isoelectronic species have the same chemical properties as well.
Isoelectronic Pairs List
Listed below are some isoelectronic pairs.
PO43- and SO42-
CO and N2
More Examples on Isoelectronic Elements and Their Electron Configuration
Now that we have gone through the various isoelectronic elements, let us look at some of the other isoelectronic pairs, their electron configuration, and the number of electrons.
The article presents a thorough understanding of concepts such as isoelectronicity. The article traverses through the various ions, molecules, series, and the pair list that is isoelectronic and depicts isolectronicity. An insight into the structure of isoelectronic elements is also studied. The article also summarises the steps on how to measure whether the given species are isoelectronic or not. In addition, to summarise a few uses of isoelectronicity, it is a phenomenon used to predict the properties of certain species.
It is also used to look over at the reaction of species with one another. Isoelectronicity can also be used to identify hydrogen-like atoms that are isoelectronic to hydrogen. One of the major uses of isoelectricity is that the phenomenon can be used to predict or identify unknown or rare compounds or elements on the earth. Their electronic resemblance can be compared with those of known species.