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Chemistry LibreTexts

Elements Organized by Group

  • Group 1: Hydrogen and the Alkali Metals
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    The alkali metals make up Group 1 of the periodic table. This family consists of the elements lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, cesium, and francium (Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs, and Fr, respectively). Group one elements share common characteristics. They are all soft, silver metals. Due to their low ionization energy, these metals have low melting points and are highly reactive. The reactivity of this family increases as you move down the table. Alkali metals are noted for how vigorously they react w
    • Group 2: The Alkaline Earth Metals
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      Alkaline earth metals make up the second group of the periodic table. This family includes the elements beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium, and radium (Be, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba, and Ra, respectively). Group 2 elements share common characteristics. Each metal is naturally occurring and quite reactive. These metals are silver and soft, much like the alkali metals of Group 1. These metals also react with water, though not as vigorously. Beryllium, interestingly, does not react with water. E
      • Group 3: Transition Metals
        Group 3: Transition Metals
        The observed trends in the properties of the group 3 elements are similar to those of groups 1 and 2. Due to their ns2(n − 1)d1 valence electron configurations, the chemistry of all four elements is dominated by the +3 oxidation state formed by losing all three valence electrons. As expected based on periodic trends, these elements are highly electropositive metals and powerful reductants, with La (and Ac) being the most reactive.
        • Group 4: Transition Metals
          Group 4: Transition Metals
          Because the elements of group 4 have a high affinity for oxygen, all three metals occur naturally as oxide ores that contain the metal in the +4 oxidation state resulting from losing all four ns2(n − 1)d2 valence electrons.
          • Group 5: Transition Metals
            Group 5: Transition Metals
            All group 5 metals are normally found in nature as oxide ores that contain the metals in their highest oxidation state (+5). Because of the lanthanide contraction, the chemistry of Nb and Ta is so similar that these elements are usually found in the same ores.
            • Group 6: Transition Metals
              Group 6: Transition Metals
              The group 6 metals are slightly less electropositive than those of the three preceding groups, and the two heaviest metals are essentially the same size because of the lanthanide contraction.
              • Group 7: Transition Metals
                Group 7: Transition Metals
                All three group 7 elements have seven valence electrons and can form compounds in the +7 oxidation state. The chemistry of the group 7 metals (Mn, Tc, and Re) is dominated by lower oxidation states. Compounds in the maximum possible oxidation state (+7) are readily reduced.
                • Group 8: Transition Metals
                  Group 8: Transition Metals
                  The chemistry of groups 8, 9, and 10 is dominated by intermediate oxidation states such as +2 and +3.
                  • Group 9: Transition Metals
                    Group 9: Transition Metals
                    All group 9 elements are relatively rare in the earth's crust, with the most abundant, cobalt, only accounting for 0.0029% of the Earth's crust. Rhodium and iridium are two of the rarest naturally occurring elements in the earth, only found in platinum ores.
                    • Group 10: Transition Metals
                      Group 10: Transition Metals
                      Group 10 metals are white to light grey in color, and possess a high luster, a resistance to tarnish (oxidation), are highly ductile, and enter into oxidation states of +2 and +4, with +1 being seen in special conditions.
                      • Group 11: Transition Metals
                        Group 11: Transition Metals
                        The “coinage metals”, copper, silver, and gold, have held great importance in societies throughout history, both symbolically and practically. For centuries, silver and gold have been worn by royalty to parade their wealth and power. On occasion, these metals were even used in art. Although the most important oxidation state for group 11 is +1, the elements are relatively unreactive, with reactivity decreasing from Cu to Au.
                        • Group 12: Transition Metals
                          Group 12: Transition Metals
                          Group 12 elements have partially filled (n − 1)d subshells, and hence are not, strictly speaking, transition metals. Nonetheless, much of their chemistry is similar to that of the elements that immediately precede them in the d block. The group 12 metals are similar in abundance to those of group 11, and they are almost always found in combination with sulfur. Group 12 metals tend have low melting and boiling points (due to the weak metallic bonding of the ns2 electrons) and charges of +2 or +1.
                          • Group 13: The Boron Family
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                            Group 13 is sometimes referred to as the boron group, named for the first element in the family. These elements are--not surprisingly--located in column 13 of the periodic table. This group includes boron, aluminum, gallium, indium, thallium, and ununtrium (B, Al, Ga, In, Tl, and Uut, respectively). These elements all have three valence electrons. Boron is the only metalloid in this family. The rest of the elements are considered to be poor metals.
                            • Group 14: The Carbon Family
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                              Group 14 of the periodic table is often referred to as the carbon group. It is located in column 14 of the periodic table and houses the elements carbon, silicon, germanium, tin, lead, and ununquadium (C, Si, Ge, Sn, Pb, and Uuq, respectively). Each element in this group contains four valence electrons. A unique feature of this group is that the elements can form different anions and cations. Carbon forms a 4- anion whereas silicon and germanium form 4+ cations. Tin and lead can even form 2+ cat
                              • Group 15: The Nitrogen Family
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                                The pnictogen group, or nitrogen group, is located in column 15 of the periodic table. This family consists of the elements nitrogen, phosphorus, arsenic, antimony, bismuth, and ununpentium (N, P, As, Sb, Bi, and Uup, respectively). Each member of this family contains five valence electrons. Due to these valence electrons, the members of Group 15 are able to form double and triple bonds. Elemental nitrogen is a diatomic molecule held together by a triple bond.
                                • Group 16: The Oxygen Family
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                                  The chalcogens, the oxygen group, is located in column 16 of the periodic table. It contains the elements oxygen, sulfur, selenium, tellurium, polonium, and ununhexium (O, S, Se, Te, Po, and Uuh, respectively). These elements all contain six valence electrons and form 2- ions. The physical properties of this group vary dramatically. Oxygen is a colorless gas while sulfur is a yellow solid. Tellurium is a silver metalloid, and selenium is black.
                                  • Group 17: The Halogens
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                                    The halogens are located in Group VII, now known as Group 17, of the periodic table. Included in the halogen family are the elements fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine (F, Cl, Br, I, and At, respectively). Halogens are fairly reactive due to their seven valence electrons. They are very close to the desired octet, and easily pick up one electron. Due to their reactivity, halogens are only found in nature when they are in a molecular compound. Fluorine and chlorine are gases at room
                                    • Group 18: The Noble Gases
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                                      The noble gases (Group 18) are located in the far right of the periodic table and were previously referred to as the "inert gases" due to the fact that their filled valence shells (octets) make them extremely nonreactive. The noble gases were characterized relatively late compared to other element groups.
                                      • The Lanthanides
                                        The Lanthanides
                                        The Lanthanides consist of the elements in the f-block of period six in the periodic table. While these metals can be considered transition metals, they have properties that set them apart from the rest of the elements.
                                        • The Actinides
                                          The Actinides
                                          The Actinide series contains elements with atomic numbers 89 to 103 and is the third group in the periodic table. The series is the row below the Lanthanide series, which is located underneath the main body of the periodic table. Lanthanide and Actinide Series are both referred to as Rare Earth Metals. These elements all have a high diversity in oxidation numbers and all are radioactive. The most common and known element is Uranium, which is used as nuclear fuel when its converted into plutonium