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Electron configuration
1) Defined as the arrangement of electrons around nucleus
2) Gives info on the chemical behaviour of the atom

Brief History on Model of Atom

1) The earliest model of atom was put forward by Thomson in 1898.
a. Atom consists of positively charged sphere embedded with electrons.
b. Model of atom was known as ‘Plum Pudding Atom’
2) Ernst Rutherford tested Thomson’s theory in the famous experiment where gold atoms in
the thin gold foil were bombarded with He nuc(alpha particle).
a. His experimental results showed that some alpha particles went straight through
the thin gold foil, some were slightly deflected and some came right back from
where they come from.
b. His experimental findings did not support Thomson’s model of atom
c. Rutherford proposed that es orbit the central dense nuc like in solar system ie.
Microsolar system
d. However, there are 2 problems associated with this new theory
i. According to law of classical physics, e orbiting nuc would lose its
energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation, the movement of e
would slow down and eventually collapse and spiral into nuc. (Unstable
ii. This model could not explain why atoms of different element absorb or
emit certain light of unique frequencies. (LES and Absorption

3) In 1900, Max Planck (German physicist) developed Quantum Theory.

a. According to this theory light is a stream of tiny packets of energy.
b. The energy is absorbed or emitted in quanta or packets of energy.
c. E=hv where h=6.63×10 -34 Js
d. This theory was confirmed by Einstein in 1905 using experiment on photoelectric
4) In 1913, Niels Bohr (Danish Physicist) proposed ‘Bohr Model’ or ‘Bohr Theory’, which
was developed based on Quantum Theory.

a. According to Bohr Theory, the energy of the es and the radii of the orbits are
quantized (restricted to certain specific energy values)
b. Es orbiting in their given orbits do not emit or lose energy.
c. Electrons would absorb extra energy given in the form of heat or electrical
discharge and get excited. (hence give rise to Absorption Spectrum)
d. Electrons would then go back to ground state by losing the extra energy in the
form of light. (LES)
e. Electrons have definite speed (2200km/h) and definite path (radius 53 pm)
5) Later, it was found that Bohr’s Model is unsatisfactory because
a. According to Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, it is not possible to measure
experimentally both the speed and location of es simultaneously. Thus it is not
possible to know both the velocity of es and orbit radii at the same time.
b. Bohr’s theory can only explain the movement of electron in hydrogen atom.
i. An attempt to use this theory to explain the movement of electrons in the
atom with more than 1 electron failed.
c. Today, Bohr’s Model is partially accepted and it is not completely rejected. Its
explanation is still used by scientists to explain LES and Absorption Spectra.

6) In 1923, Louis de Broglie (French) advanced his theory, Wave Theory of Atom that es
have wave-particle duality character
a. If light can have both wave and particle character, hence matter can have wave
b. Electron has both wave and particle character
c. λ=h/mv
d. This theory was later confirmed by Davisson & Germer (American physicist)
using “double-slit” experiment.
i. When streams of electrons are passed through a double- slit, the electrons
show diffraction pattern.
7) Schrodinger worked on Wave Theory of Atom developed by de Broglie
a. He came up with a set of complex mathematical equation and he had used
advance calculus to solve the equation.
b. The solutions to these mathematical equation were the probability of finding es
around the nuc
c. According to Schrodinger, es do not move in orbits but they can be found in
atomic orbital


1) Atomic orbital is a volume in space where there is a maximum chance or 95% probability
of finding the electrons.

2) Atomic orbital is also known as ‘electron cloud’ because the electrons move at high speed
and you can only see them as cloud.

3) Since electrons move so fast, you cannot tell the exact location of the electrons in the
atomic orbital.

4) In order to be able to keep track of electrons in the atomic orbital, you need to know the
term ‘shell’ and ‘subshell’.

5) In order to be able to keep track of electrons in the atomic orbital, you need to know the
term ‘shell’ and ‘subshell’.


1) Tells about the average distance between the nucleus and electrons.
2) Also known as the principle energy level or main energy level
3) Shell no., n = 1,2,3,4,5,6,and 7 correspond to the main energy level
a. n = 1 (nearest to nucleus)
b. n = 7 (farthest from nucleus)
4) The bigger the number, the greater the distance between the nucleus and electrons, the
larger the size of atomic orbital and the less stable the atomic orbital will become.


1) Tells about the shape of the atomic orbital

2) There are 4 shapes denoted by the letter s,p,d,f
3) 1 orbital can accommodate up to a max. of 2 electrons only
a. s subshell contains 1 orbital, thus a max of 2 e
b. p subshell contains 3 orbitals, thus a max of 6 e
c. d subshell contains 5 orbitals, thus a max of 10 e
d. f subshell contains 7 orbitals, thus a max of 14 e

Energy level

Build-up principle or Aufbau principle

1) Build-up principle can be used to write the electron configuration for any given
2) It consists of 3 rules
a. Pauling Exclusion
i. Each atomic orbital can accommodate to a max of 2 e & the e
must be in the opposite spin
b. Energy sequence of the orbital
i. Fill up the orbitals with e following their successive energy
levels according to the diagram below

c. Hund’s Rule

i. When electrons enter the orbitals, which have the same energy,
they would arrange themselves so that they will have a max no
of unpaired e with identical spin.
ii. Subshells in the same shell do not have the same energies;
whereas the orbitals in the same subshell have the same energies.

The electron configuration for the atoms at the ground state

1) The e-conf. for the first 20 elements in the periodic table.

a. O (z=8) 1s2 2s2 2p4
b. F (z=9) 1s2 2s2 2p5
c. Na (z=11) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s1
d. P (z=15) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p3
e. S (z= 16) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p4
f. Cl (z=17 ) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p5
g. Ca (z=20) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 42

2) The e-conf. for transition elements

a. Start to occupy 3d orbital
b. Initially, when 3d orbital is empty, 4s orbital is lower in energy than 3d
orbital. Therefore, e would occupy 4s orbital first, then followed by 3d
c. However, once the 3d orbital is occupied with e, 4s orbital is higher in
energy than 3d.
d. Hence, need to rearrange the position of 3d & 4s.
i. E.g. Sc (z=21) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d1 4s2
ii. E. g. Zn (z = 30) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2
e. Cr & Cu, both would have partially filled 4s orbital to achieve max
stability ( low energy) i.e. 4s1
i. Cr (z = 24) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d5 4s1
ii. Cu (z = 29) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s1

The electron configuration for ions

1) Atoms lose or gain e in order to achieve stability by acquiring noble gas
configuration (octet configuration).

2) However, transition elements do not have to acquire noble gas configuration to be
stable. This is because they have a stable 3d-orbital configuration.
3) Can write the electron configuration for cation or anion by first writing the e-conf
of the neutral atom, then substract or add the e to form the respective ion.
a. Cations
i. Na+ 1s2 2s2 2p6
ii. Ca2+ 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6
iii. Sc2+ 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d1
iv. Zn2+ 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10
v. Cr3+ 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d3
vi. Cu+ 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10
vii. Cu2+ 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d9
b. Anions
i. S2- 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6
ii. F 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6

4) For transition elements, when forming cations, always substract the e from 4s
orbital first since 4s orbital has the highest energy level.

Line Emission Spectrum


Emission Absorption

Line Continuous

Line Emission Spectrum (LES)

a) Each element produces its own distinctive/unique LES
b) LES can be used to identify element and used as atom’s fingerprint
c) LES is unique to a particular element. Therefore, different element produces different LES.
d) e has a wave-particle duality character
e) In LES, e is regarded as a particle.
f) The energy of es is quantised i.e restricted to a certain specific energy values only

Flame test
Can be used to identify the metal cations in their salt solutions
Different metal cations would give rise to different flame colours.
The colour of the flames is unrelated to the colour of metal or metal salts

Eg: CuSO4
Cu2+ blue solution
Cu brown metal

d) Procedure of flame test:

1) Dip nichrome wire into concentrated. HCl acid, then it is heated over the Bunsen

2) Repeat this process until colourless flame is obtained.

3) Dip cleaned nichrome wire into salt solution

4) Heat over Bunsen burner flame

5) Observe the colour of flame

e) Flame colours

Cation Colour


f) Explanation of LES in relation to e-structure of an atom

-At room temp, all valence es are at the ground state.

-The energy of es is QUANTISED or different elements have different sets of energy


-When the val es are supplied with extra energy in the form of ________,________, or
__________, the val es will be promoted to _______ energy levels. These val es are said
to be ___________.

-However, these es are ________ in excited state.

-To regain stability, the excited es will go back to the ________ state and they would lose
extra energy that they have absorbed earlier in the form of __________( electromagnetic

-The colours could be observed with naked eyes, only if the freq of that particular light is
in the visible region (wavelength 400-750 nm).

Eg: Na produces 3 freqs in the wavelengths of 185nm, 330 nm and 590 nm.
Can only observe wavelength in 590 nm (yellow colour), the rest are invisible to
naked eyes. That’s why Na produces yellow colour upon heating over Bunsen

Periodic table


What is a periodic table?

a) a table where elements are arranged in the order of increasing atomic no.
b) atomic no. refers to the no of protons in nucleus of an atom.
-Atomic no of atom also reflects the no of es in neutral atom
c) Periodic table comprises of groups and periods
-Periods refer to horizontal rows
-Groups refer to vertical columns
d) PT can be divided into 4 different blocks namely s, p, d and f block

Sketch the PT and show the location of the s,p,d and f block

Relating the e-config of elements to their positions on the periodic table

a) Could relate e-config of element to its respective position on periodic table

b) Eg: Ca (z=20) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2
meaning Ca can be found in
period 4 b/c electrons occupy the 4 principle/main energy levels or 4 is
the highest shell no. or principle/main energy level.
group 2 b/c it has 2 valence es in its valence shell.
block s b/c valence e occupy s orbital

Exercise 1

1) O (z=8) 1s2 2s2 2p4

period :_____

2) F (z=9) 1s2 2s2 2p5

period :_____

3) Na (z=11) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s1

period :_____

4) Al (z=13) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p1

period :_____

5) S (z= 16) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p4

period :_____

6) Cl (z=17 ) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p5

period :_____

c) For transition elements, they have no groups but they have periods and blocks
eg: Sc (z=21) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d1 4s2
Period :_4____
Explanation: electrons occupy the 4th principle energy level

Explanation: it has incomplete d orbital

Exercise 2

1) Zn (z = 30) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2

period :_____

2) Cr (z = 24) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d5 4s1

period :_____

3) Cu (z = 29) 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s1

period :_____

4) O (z =8) 1s2 2s2 2p4

period :_____



a) the ability of an atom to attract the shared pair of electrons towards itself in a covalent bond.
Eg: HCl

b) Linus Pauling devised a scale to measure the relative electronegativity values for each of the
element in the periodic table known as Pauling Scale.

c) Pauling Scale runs from 0-4 and Flourine was chosen as a reference element since it has the
highest electronegativity value.

d) Electronegativity values cannot be determined experimentally. Their values were calculated

using ionisation energy and bond energy of the respective element.

e) Electronegativity values have no unit

f) Metals have low electronegativity

g) Metalloids/semi metals have intermediate electronegativity

h) Non-metals have high electronegativity

i) In PT,
Electronegativity incrs from left to right across a period
Electronegativity decrs down a group

Bond Polarity

a) refers to a situation in the covalent molecule where the sharing of the bonding es is

b) Bond polarity is only applicable to covalent compounds.

c) In 2 identical atoms from the same elements, the atoms have same electronegativity values,
thus there is no difference in electronegativity, and hence the bonding electron pairs are shared
equally btw 2 atoms

Eg: X : X  X-X

d) 2 unidentical atoms from different elements, both atoms have different electroneg values,
thus there is a difference in electronegativity, and hence the bonding electron pairs are
UNEQUALLY shared btw 2 atoms

Eg: A :X  A-X where X is more electronegative than A

We say that the covalent bond is polar or the covalent bond is said to have a dipole i.e the bond
has 2 different ends.

e) The greater the difference in the electronegativity between the 2 atoms, the more polar the
bond will be

f) Exceptions to the rule

C-H bond - non polar bond because the difference in electronegativity is so negligible

Trends across period
Nature of elements

a) As go across a period, there would be a decrease in atomic size (the distance btw nuc and
valence es), but there is an increase in the attraction btw nuc and valence es and hence

b) Therefore observe a change in the nature of elements as go across a period from metal to
metalloid to non-metal (i.e a decrease in metallic character).
1) Eg: Elements in Group 1 and 2 - metals
2) Elements in Group 3 - semi metals/metalloids
3) Elements in group 4, 5,6,7- non-metals

Nature of oxides

a) A change in electronegativity would also reflect on the nature of oxides when elements react
with oxygen forming oxides.

b) As we go across a period, we would observe a change in the nature of oxides from basic to
amphoteric to acidic oxides

c) Basic oxides
1) metallic oxides are basic in nature
2) show basicity of oxides by reacting with water or hydrogen ions

a. Na2O
Na2O (s) + H2O(l) 
Na2O (s) + H+ (aq) 

b. MgO
MgO (s) + H2O(l) 
MgO (s) + H+ (aq) 

c. CuO
CuO (s) + H2O(l) 
CuO (s) + H+ (aq) 

d. Fe2O3
Fe2O3 (s) + H2O(l) 
Fe2O3 (s) + H+ (aq) 

d) Amphoteric oxides

1) Oxides of metalloid are amphoteric i.e able to behave as both acid and base

2) Show amphoteric character by reacting with both hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions

a. Al2O3
Al2O3 (s) + OH- (aq) 
Al2O3 (s) + H+ (aq) 

b. ZnO

ZnO (s) + OH- (aq) 

ZnO (s) + H+ (aq) 

e) Acidic oxides
1) Oxides of non-metals are acidic
2) Show acidic character by reacting with water and hydroxide ions

a. SO2
SO2 (g) + H2O(l) 
SO2 (g) + OH- (aq) 

b. SO3
SO3 (g) + H2O(l) 
SO3 (g) + OH- (aq) 

c. CO2
CO2 (g) + H2O(l) 
CO2 (g) + OH- (aq) 

d. P4O10
P4O10 (s) + H2O(l) 
P4O10 (s) + OH- (aq) 

e. SiO2
SiO2(s) + H2O(l) 
SiO2(s) + OH- (aq) 

Trend down a group
a) As we go down a group, no of valence es unchanged but atomic size increases, force of
attraction btw nuc and valence es decreases and hence electronegativity decreases as well.

Nature of elements
d) As we go down the group, there is a change from non-metallic to
amphoteric to metallic character i.e metallic character increases.
e) The trend in an increase in metallic character in PT is related to a
decrease in electronegativity.
f) Eg:
i. Group 3 B Al Ga In Tl
ii. Group 6 O S Se Te Po

a) As go down group 1 and 2, there would be a decrease in
electronegativity, hence an increase in metallic character.
b) Eg: K has lower electroneg. than Na thus K is more metallic in
nature than Na

Chemical reactivity
a) As we go down grp 1 and 2, electronegativity decreases. Consequently, val
es can leave the atom more easily to form cation. Hence, reactivity increases down a grp.
b) The metallic elements become stronger reducing agents (undergo oxidation: tendency to lose
val es)


a) Electronegativity decreases down the group, the harder for non-metals to attract val es to
form anions. Therefore decrease ability as oxidizing agents

b) Eg:

c) Eg: Displacement reactions

Exercise 3
1) Predict and explain whether MgO would be acidic or basic compound? (3marks)

2) Prove your answer in question 1. (2 mark)

3) Explain why chlorine gas can displace bromine from its solution by referring to their
position in the periodic table. ( 3 marks)

Chemical bonding (Intramolecular forces)

a) Refer to forces holding atoms or ions together


Intramolecular forces Intermolecular forces

-forces btw atoms/ions -forces btw molecules
-stronger forces -weaker forces

b) There are 3 types of intramolecular forces sometimes called as primary bondings

Metallic Ionic Covalent

The electrostatic forces of attraction The electrostatic forces of attraction The electrostatic force of attraction
between metal cations and delocalized between cations and anions. between the shared pair of electrons and 2
electrons. nuclei of 2 different non-metallic atoms.

Structure There are 3 types of structures for

Close-packed metallic Close-packed ionic lattice covalent cpds.
lattice a) Giant Covalent Network

The forces of attraction between The forces of attraction between anions

delocalized electrons and cations are non- and cations are non-directional, resulting
- Non-metallic atoms are held by strong
directional, resulting in the close-pack in the close-pack arrangement of ions in
covalent bonds in continuous covalent
arrangement of metallic atoms in crystal crystal lattice
network. Eg: Diamond, Silica(Quartz)

Molecular covalent
a) Covalent molecules are held together
closely by strong secondary
inyeractions .Solids with low melting
points. Eg: Moth ball (Naphthalene),
Iodine, Table sugar, Sulfur.

Discrete/ Small Covalent molecules

a) Discrete covalent molecules held by
weak secondary interactions. Gas or
liquid at room temperature. Eg: O2, N2,
CO2, NH3, H2O, HF

Physical properties
a) Melting point

b) Physical states

c) Electrical conductance

1) Explain why magnesium oxide, MgO has high melting point. (3 m)

2) Explain why silicon dioxide, SiO2 has a melting point of 1700 o C (3m)

4) Explain why the melting point of Magnesium is 650 o C .(3m)

5) Explain why NaCl can conduct electricity in molten or aqueous state but not in solid state. (3


1. The forces of attractions between 2 nuclei of non-metallic atoms and the shared pair
of electrons are directional, causing the covalent molecules to have shapes.
2. There are 7 shapes of covalent molecules
i. Linear
ii. V-shape
iii. Trigonal planar
iv. Trigonal pyramid/Pyramidal
v. Tetrahedral
vi. Trigonal bipyramid
vii. Octahedral



Trigonal planar

Trigonal pyramid


Trigonal bipyramid


VSEPR Theory

a) Acronym for

b) The uses of VSEPR Theory:

-to predict the shape of covalent molecules
-to explain the shape of covalent molecules

c) Statement of VSEPR Theory

-Numbers and position of bonding and non-bonding e pairs determine the shape of

- All e pairs are arranged as far apart as possible to minimize repulsion

-Non-bonding e pairs are more repulsive than bonding es leading to a smaller bond angle

d) In using VSEPR Theory, multiple bonds are treated as single bonds in term of their repulsion.

Application of VSEPR Theory

Steps to be followed:
a) draw electron dot structure or Lewis structure for any given molecule
b) draw the structural formula and indicate the position of non-bonding es on central atom
c) Apply VSEPR Theory to predict the geometric shape.

HCl BCl3 CH4


PCl5 SO3 SF6

Octet Expansion

1. Atoms react in the chemical reactions in order to be more stable by acquiring octet electron

2. This is true for elements in group 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.

3. Transition elements do not need to acquire octet electron configuration because they are stable on their
own due to the presence of their d orbitals. So they do not conform to the Octet rule.

4. However, elements in period 3 and beyond are able to expand their octet. This would mean that they
would have more than 8 electrons in their outer shell. Consequently, these elements can have many
oxidation states and covalences.

Group 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Ionic charge


5. For example, the elements which can expand their octet are sulfur, phosphorus and chlorine.





1. Draw and name the shape of hypochlorus acid, HOCl. (2 marks)

2. Using VSEPR Theory, explain why the shape of HOCl is as you have drawn above. (3 marks)

3. Predict the shape of phosphine, PH3. (3 marks)

4. Predict and explain the shape of ammonia, NH3. (4 marks)

5. Predict and explain the shape of phosphorus chloride, PCl3. (3 marks)

Molecular polarity

a) Depends on
- bond polarity
-polar bond
-non-polar bond
- shapes (spatial arrangement of atoms in molecule)

b) When the bond is non-polar, the molecule is also non-polar

c) When the bond is polar, we need to consider the shape of the molecule

-If then shape is symmetrical, the bond polarities in that molecule cancelled out,
therefore, the molecule has no net dipole. So the molecule is non-polar

-If the shape is non-symmetrical, the bond polarities do not cancelled out. The molecule
has a net polarity or net dipole. So the molecule is polar.

d) As a polar molecule, that molecule as a whole possesses polarity (a dipole)

How to assign molecular polarity
Diatomic molecules

- non-polar covalent bond bc - polar bond due to there is difference in
there is no diff in electronegativity.
-hence, non-polar molecule electronegativity
- Shape: non-symmetrical, hence there will
be a net dipole in the molecule.

- Polar covalent molecule

Polyatomic molecules

Non-polar covalent molecules Polar covalent molecules

CCl4 H2O
Shape explanation Shape explanation

Shape explanation Shape explanation

CO2 PCl3
Shape explanation Shape explanation

1. Predict whether ammonia, NH3 is a polar or non-polar molecule. Give reasons for your answer.
(3 marks)

2. Methane, CH4 is the major component of natural gas. Predict and explain the molecular
polarity of methane. (3 marks)

Intermolecular forces
a) also known as secondary interactions

b) electrostatic in nature but very much weaker compared to that of primary bonds

c) operate between covalent molecules

d) molecular polarity determines the type of secondary interactions

e) Secondary interactions are important b/c they govern the physical properties of covalent

f) the strength of secondary interactions depends on

-molecular polarity
-If the size of the molecule is kept constant, the more polar the molecule, the
stronger the secondary interaction
-What do we understand by the term ‘very polar molecule’?
- the greater the difference in electronegativity between 2 atoms,
the more polar the bond will be. If the shape is non-symmetrical,
we will end up with very polar molecule.

g) there are 4 types of secondary interactions.

h) DF, DDI and HB are formed btw covalent molecules whereas IDI is formed btw ion and
polar covalent molecule

Dispersion/ Dipole-dipole Hydrogen Bond Ion-dipole
London Force Interaction interaction
Molecular polarity
Polar molecules Very polar molecules N/A
polar and non-polar


The electrostatic force of The electrostatic force
The temporary dipoles The polar molecules are
attraction between delta of attraction between
resulted from uneven arranged in such the way that
positive hydrogen atom polar covalent
distribution of electrons in the delta positive end of one
directly attached to N, O or F molecules and ions.
the molecules molecule is directed towards
atom in one molecule and
the delta negative end of the
delta negative N,O or F atom
neighbouring molecule
in the other molecule

Physical properties

a) Solubility in water

b) Melting point / Boiling


c) Physical state

1) Ammonia, NH3 has a bp of –33 o C whereas nitrogen gas, N2 has a bp of –198 o C. Explain
their differences in bp. (4m)

2) Magnesium oxide, MgO has a melting point of above 2000 o C and ice has a melting point of
0 o C. Compare their differences in the mp. (5 m)

3) Ammonia, NH3 dissolves very well in water but sulfur dioxide, SO2 has low solubility in
water. Give reason for your answer (4m)

4) Explain why is it easier to liquefy ammonia compared to methane. (4m)

5) Explain your answer in term of secondary interactions why methane is a gas at room
temperature and iodine is a solid. (4 m)