Electronegativity and atomic radius


Would someone please explain in detail the relationship between the two? I understand that atomic radius is related to ionisation energy but I can’t see how atomic radius may be related to electronegativity.

In: Chemistry

Electronegativity and ionization enthalpy are directly correlated. An atom with a greater electronegativity — that is, a greater tendency to hold onto valence electrons — will require more energy to pull the most loosely-bound electron away.

Electronegativity refers to how many electrons are needed to complete a valence shell. A Fl atom needs 1 electron to complete its valence shell. An O atom needs 2. A Ne atom has a complete valence shell and is happy.

I like to think of it like a collector that needs 10 more Pokemon cards to complete his collection vs. a collector that needs 1 more card. The collector that is only missing one card is going to be a lot more intense about getting that last card than the other guy.

So say there are two atoms that need one electron to complete their valence shell. The one that is bigger (i.e, has a bigger atomic radius) is probably a little more chill. The electrons in the inner shell can jump up to the outer shell and make the valence shell happy part of the time. So it’s a little less intense than a valence shell that has no inner electrons to share in.

This isn’t quite how it works, I’m guessing. But it’s good enough for ELI5 purposes, I hope. There’s probably a few more Nobel prizes to be won in this field.