You currently have JavaScript disabled on this browser/device. JavaScript must be enabled in order for this website to function properly.

ZingPath: Periodic Trends

Electron Affinity on the Periodic Table

Searching for

Periodic Trends

Learn in a way your textbook can't show you.
Explore the full path to learning Periodic Trends

Lesson Focus

Electron Affinity on the Periodic Table


Learning Made Easy

You get to check out the trends in the properties of elements that are present in the structure of the Periodic Table. Explore trends in atomic radius, ionic radius, and electron affinity.

Over 1,200 Lessons: Get a Free Trial | Enroll Today

Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Define the concept of electron affinity.
  • Explain the change in electron affinity across the Periodic Table.

Everything You'll Have Covered

What is an atom's electron affinity?

~ The energy change that occurs when an electron is acquired by a gaseous atom is called the atom's electron affinity.

How does an atom's tendency to gain electrons affect its electron affinity?

~ Atoms with a high tendency to gain electrons release energy, causing their electron affinity values to be negative. Atoms with a low tendency to gain electrons increase energy, causing their electron affinity to be positive.

What are electron affinities dependent upon?

~ Electron affinities depend on an atom's valence electrons, atomic radius, nuclear charge, and electron configuration.

What is the relationship between how the Periodic Table is organized and electron affinity values?

~ There is no systematic trend, but generally electron affinity values in a group decrease from top to bottom. In a period, electron affinity values generally increase from left to right.

What is unique about noble gases' electron affinity values?

~ Noble gases have a low tendency to gain electrons, so their electron affinity values are positive. Unlike other elements, they require energy to gain electrons.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be able to define the following terms: electron affinity, Periodic Table, and periodic trends.
Course Chemistry
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary electron affinity, Periodic Table, periodic trends