How to determine whether the element is electropositive or electronegative?

Last updated date: 31st Jan 2023
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Answer
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Hint: When the charge on the ion is positive then the element is called electropositive and if the charge on the ion is negative then the element is electronegative. Mostly electropositive elements are placed on the left side of the periodic table and the electronegative elements are placed right to the periodic table.

Complete step by step answer:
We can explain the term electropositive as the ability or tendency of the element to lose electrons and convert into a cation which has a positive charge.
We can explain the term electronegative as the ability or tendency of the element to gain or attract electrons towards it and convert into an anion which has a negative charge.
So we can find whether the element is electropositive or electronegative by seeing its tendency to either attract or lose an electron.

For example: Sodium element has configuration \[1{{s}^{2}}2{{s}^{2}}2{{p}^{6}}3{{s}^{1}}\]. So it has one valence electron in its outermost shell, which it can lose and become stable. Therefore on losing one electron it acquires a positive charge ($N{{a}^{+}}$) and is an electropositive element.
The Fluorine element has configuration $1{{s}^{2}}2{{s}^{2}}2{{p}^{5}}$. So it needs only one more electron in its outermost shell. So it has a strong tendency to attract an electron. Therefore by gaining one electron it acquires a negative charge (${{F}^{-}}$) and is an electronegative element.
All the electropositive elements are placed to the left of the periodic table and all the electronegative elements are placed right to the periodic table or we can say that towards right the electronegativity increases and the electropositivity decreases.

Note: The elements form positive ion or negative ion only to acquire the nearest noble gas configuration which is the most stable configuration. So, $N{{a}^{+}}$ has the configuration the same as neon, and ${{F}^{-}}$ also have the same configuration as neon.