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Chemistry LibreTexts

Group 15: The Nitrogen Family

  • Page ID
    562
  • The nitrogen family includes the following compounds: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), arsenic (As), antimony (Sb), and bismuth (Bi). All Group 15 elements have the electron configuration ns2np3 in their outer shell, where n is the principal quantum number.

    • Group 15: General Properties and Reactions
      The nitrogen family includes the following compounds: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), arsenic (As), antimony (Sb), and bismuth (Bi). All Group 15 elements have the electron configuration ns2np3 in their outer shell, where n is equal to the principal quantum number. The nitrogen family is located in the p-block in Group 15, as shown below.
    • Chemistry of Nitrogen (Z=7)
      Nitrogen is present in almost all proteins and plays important roles in both biochemical applications and industrial applications. Nitrogen forms strong bonds because of its ability to form a triple bond with its self, and other elements. Thus, there is a lot of energy in the compounds of nitrogen. Before 100 years ago, little was known about nitrogen. Now, nitrogen is commonly used to preserve food, and as a fertilizer.
    • Chemistry of Phosphorus (Z=15)
      Phosphorus (P) is an essential part of life as we know it.  Without the phosphates in biological molecules such as ATP, ADP and DNA, we would not be alive. Phosphorus compounds can also be found in the minerals in our bones and teeth. It is a necessary part of our diet. In fact, we consume it in nearly all of the foods we eat. Phosphorus is quite reactive.  This quality of the element makes it an ideal ingredient for matches because it is so flammable.
    • Chemistry of Arsenic (Z=33)
      Arsenic is situated in the 33rd spot on the periodic table, right next to Germanium and Selenium. Arsenic has been known for a very long time and the person who may have first isolated it is not known but credit generally is given to Albertus Magnus in about the year 1250. The element, which is classified as a metalloid, is named from the Latin arsenicum and Greek arsenikon which are both names for a pigment, yellow orpiment.
    • Chemistry of Antimony (Z=51)
      Antimony and its compounds have been known for centuries. Scientific study of the element began during the early 17th century, much of the important work being done by Nicolas Lemery. The name of the element comes from the Greek anti + monos for "not alone", while the modern symbol is rooted in the Latin-derived name of the common ore, stibnite.
    • Chemistry of Bismuth (Z=83)
      Bismuth, the heaviest non-radioactive naturally occurring element, was isolated by Basil Valentine in 1450. It is a hard, brittle metal with an unusually low melting point (271oC). Alloys of bismuth with other low-melting metals such as tin and lead have even lower melting points and are used in electrical solders, fuse elements and automatic fire sprinkler heads.
    • Chemistry of Moscovium (Z=115)
      In studies announced jointly by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the U.S., four atoms of element 113 were produced in 2004 via decay of element 115 after the fusion of Ca-48 and Am-243.

    Thumbnail: White and red phosphorus. (CC-SA-BY 3.0; Peter Krimbacher).