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Difference Between Electronegativity and Electron Affinity

atomsElectronegativity vs Electron Affinity
The transfer of one electron from one atom to another is a very common occurrence that we do not notice. In order to achieve a transfer, the electron affinity should be met. Electron affinity is a measure of how much energy is released when an electron is gained by a certain atom, conversely, it is also the amount of energy required in order to detach the electron from the other atom.

Sometimes the electron doesn’t have to be detached from one molecule in order to form a bond with another. In these cases the electron is shared and a covalent bond is formed. Electronegativity is the quantification of a molecules ability to attract an electron and form a covalent bond. Therefore, the higher the electronegativity value of a specific molecule, the stronger it pulls electrons towards it.

Electron affinity is a truly quantifiable value that can be measured by specific scientific means after an electron has attached itself to the atom. Electronegativity on the other hand cannot be measured by scientific means. It is a number derived from computations involving an atom’s characteristics in the molecule. It should then be understood that electronegativity values can vary depending on the molecule that it is bonded to. There are also a number of ways to calculate the electronegativity value of a certain atom due to the fact that it cannot be verified. Some scientists believe that they have come up with a formula that best describes electronegativity, thus the number of differing equations.

Electronegativity is not really that different from Electron Affinity. It’s just that Electron affinity is a fixed value of an individual atom, while Electronegativity is much more often associated with molecules rather than each atom and the values could vary to some degree, although a single value is commonly used for most calculations in inorganic chemistry.

Summary:
1. Electronegativity is a numerical value associated with an atoms ability to form a covalent bond
2. Electron affinity is the amount of energy that is released when an electron attaches to the atom
3. Electron affinity is a fixed and measurable value
4. Electronegativity cannot be measured and needs to be computed from other atomic properties by a few differing equations depending on which scientist you adhere to
5. Electronegativity values vary with different chemical environments
6. Electron Affinity is a value associated with individual atoms while Electron Negativity is the derived value of a molecule


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7 Comments

  1. Wow really useful, thanks for the article!

  2. verry good ……………………….i want this type answer……………….i so happy with this answer………….i m a student of chemistry (honours). so i hope that i will get help in feauture…………

  3. wow this article gives a detailed insight of the electronegativity and the affinity of atoms stating
    the differences and likely similarities between them.
    i am sincerely satisfied with the answers

  4. Really useful. I can’t really explain the difference myself and this article has said it all.

  5. Great! I love when you can just look up something on the internet instead of trying to find it in some book which can take much longer time!

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