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Chapter: 11th 12th std standard Class Organic Inorganic Physical Chemistry Higher secondary school College Notes

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General characteristics of p-block elements

General characteristics of p-block elements
13 - Boron group 14 - Carbon group 15 - Nitrogen group 16 - Oxygen group 17 - Halogen family 18 - Noble gases

13  -   Boron group

14  -   Carbon group

15  -   Nitrogen group

16  -   Oxygen group

17  -   Halogen family

18  -   Noble gases

p-block elements grouped with s-block elements are called as main group elements or representative elements. There are 44 main group elements. p-block elements occupy groups 13-18 of the periodic table including inert gases. p-block elements play dominant part in all natural processes. Aluminium plays vital role in aircraft and as conductors. Carbon is the backbone of all organic compounds. Silicon chips play a vital part in computers. Nitrogen acts as a building block of life. Molecular oxygen is a cell fuel.

General characteristics of p-block elements

1.           The general electronic configuration of p-block elements is ns2 np1-6.

2.           These elements include metals and non-metals with a few semi metals (Metalloids)

3.           Most of them form covalent compounds.

4.           These elements possess relatively higher ionisation energy and the value tends to increase along the period but decrease down the group.

5.           Most of the elements show negative (except some metals) as well as positive oxidation states (except Fluorine).

6.     One of the familiar characteristic of p-block elements is to show inert pair effect i.e. the tendency of being less availability for ns electron in bonding. The inert pair effect increases down the group with the increase in atomic number.

Group 13 elements - The Boron family

The group 13(IIIA) elements are Boron, aluminium, gallium, indium and


1.           Boron is a relatively rare element, accounting for only about 0.001% of the earth's crust by mass.

2.           Aluminium is the most important of 13th group elements.

3.           Gallium is remarkable for its unusually low melting point (29.7 o C) and therefore generally exist as a liquid at room temperature. Its most important use is in making gallium arsenide. This is a semi conductor material employed in the manufacture of diode lasers for laser printers, compact -disc players and fibre optic communication devices.

4.           Indium is also used in making semi conductor devices, such as transistors and electrical resistance thermometers called thermistors.

5.           Thallium is extremely toxic and has no commercial use.



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