Electronegativity Chart

Making Sense of the Electronegativity Chart

The electronegativity chart is a reference chart for the different elements and their corresponding electronic values.

If you already learn the Periodic Table in one of your science classes, then you probably already encounter the electronegativity chart or at least have an idea of what it is. 

But to help you further understand and make sense of what is, we have created this guide for you. 

Electronegativity and How it Works

Before we discussed the electronegativity chart, it is important to understand what electronegativity is and what does the corresponding electronic values means. 

Basically, electronegativity describes how well an atom attracts an electron. 

It is a dimensionless chemical property because it only shows the tendency of an atom. 

When you refer to the Bohr model, the atom on the right appears to have a high electronegativity because electrons are tightly placed and they are more inclined to take electrons from other atoms than give it away. 

In layman’s terms, electronegativity is the measure of how greedy an atom is for its electrons. 

An atom with low electronegativity would just give its valence electrons away

While an atom with high electronegativity will not give away its electrons and would simply take other atom’s electrons in order to fill and satisfy its outer shell.

A great analogy for electronegativity is your hunger for food. 

If you are super hungry (high electronegativity), then you are not inclined to share your food. Whilst as when you are full (low electronegativity), you tend to be more giving and share your excess food with other people. 

Just to give you a brief history about it, the most accurate scale for electronegativity was developed by an American chemist named Linus Pauling. 

Pauling’s observation and study were mainly based on the Valence Bond Theory, which further helped him understand the relationship between different chemical properties. 

Importance

Since atoms usually coexist with one another, the concept of electronegativity is important because it helps us determine the nature of bonds between these atoms and whether they are compatible or not. 

It helps us determine the type of chemical bond they more likely to have. Through electronegativity, we are to predict whether they would form an ionic or covalent bond. 

Ionic bond gives out its electrons while covalent bond shares its electrons.

Another importance of electronegativity is that it helps us predict whether the resulting molecule will be polar or nonpolar. 

In simple terms, polar bonds form when atoms share their electrons equally whereas nonpolar bonds form when atoms share electrons unequally. 

These bonds and relationships between atoms are important because they help hold molecules together and bridge connections that are essential in our everyday life.

So this just goes without saying that we should at least try to understand and make sense of the electronegativity chart so that we better understand how these chemical bonds and relationships work. 

Electronegativity chart

Listed below is the electronegativity chart ranked from highest to lowest. The list is from the Atomic Number website. 

Atomic NumberChemical SymbolElement NameElectronegativity χ
9FFluorine3.98
8OOxygen3.44
17ClChlorine3.16
7NNitrogen3.04
36KrKrypton3
35BrBromine2.96
53IIodine2.66
54XeXenon2.6
16SSulfur2.58
6CCarbon2.55
34SeSelenium2.55
79AuGold2.54
74WTungsten2.36
82PbLead2.33
78PtPlatinum2.28
45RhRhodium2.28
44RuRuthenium2.2
46PdPalladium2.2
76OsOsmium2.2
85AtAstatine2.2
77IrIridium2.2
1HHydrogen2.2
15PPhosphorus2.19
33AsArsenic2.18
42MoMolybdenum2.16
52TeTellurium2.1
51SbAntimony2.05
5BBoron2.04
83BiBismuth2.02
32GeGermanium2.01
84PoPolonium2
80HgMercury2
50SnTin1.96
47AgSilver1.93
27CoCobalt1.91
75ReRhenium1.9
14SiSilicon1.9
43TcTechnetium1.9
29CuCopper1.9
28NiNickel1.88
26FeIron1.83
31GaGallium1.81
49InIndium1.78
48CdCadmium1.69
24CrChromium1.66
30ZnZinc1.65
23VVanadium1.63
81TlThallium1.62
13AlAluminium1.61
41NbNiobium1.6
4BeBeryllium1.57
25MnManganese1.55
22TiTitanium1.54
91PaProtactinium1.5
73TaTantalum1.5
92UUranium1.38
93NpNeptunium1.36
21ScScandium1.36
40ZrZirconium1.33
12MgMagnesium1.31
72HfHafnium1.3
99EsEinsteinium1.3
100FmFermium1.3
98CfCalifornium1.3
101MdMendelevium1.3
102NoNobelium1.3
103LrLawrencium1.3
97BkBerkelium1.3
96CmCurium1.3
95AmAmericium1.3
90ThThorium1.3
94PuPlutonium1.28
71LuLutetium1.27
69TmThulium1.25
68ErErbium1.24
67HoHolmium1.23
66DyDysprosium1.22
39YYttrium1.22
64GdGadolinium1.2
62SmSamarium1.17
60NdNeodymium1.14
59PrPraseodymium1.13
58CeCerium1.12
57LaLanthanum1.1
89AcActinium1.1
20CaCalcium1
3LiLithium0.98
38SrStrontium0.95
11NaSodium0.93
88RaRadium0.9
56BaBarium0.89
19KPotassium0.82
37RbRubidium0.82
55CsCaesium0.79
87FrFrancium0.7

Electronegativity on the Periodic Table

The table below is from the Angelo State University in Texas. 

1A2A3A4A5A6A7A8A
(1)(2)(13)(14)(15)(16)(17)(18)
3B4B5B6B7B8B1B2B
(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)
1H
2.20
He
n.a.
2Li
0.98
Be
1.57
B
2.04
C
2.55
N
3.04
O
3.44
F
3.98
Ne
n.a.
3Na
0.93
Mg
1.31
Al
1.61
Si
1.90
P
2.19
S
2.58
Cl
3.16
Ar
n.a.
4K
0.82
Ca
1.00
Sc
1.36
Ti
1.54
V
1.63
Cr
1.66
Mn
1.55
Fe
1.83
Co
1.88
Ni
1.91
Cu
1.90
Zn
1.65
Ga
1.81
Ge
2.01
As
2.18
Se
2.55
Br2.96Kr
3.00
5Rb
0.82
Sr
0.95
Y
1.22
Zr
1.33
Nb
1.60
Mo
2.16
Tc
1.90
Ru
2.20
Rh
2.28
Pd
2.20
Ag
1.93
Cd
1.69
In
1.78
Sn
1.96
Sb
2.05
Te
2.10
I2.66Xe
2.60
6Cs
0.79
Ba
0.89
La
1.10
 Hf
1.30
Ta
1.50
W
2.36
Re
1.90
Os
2.20
Ir
2.20
Pt
2.28
Au
2.54
Hg
2.00
Tl
1.62
Pb
2.33
Bi
2.02
Po
2.00
At
2.20
Rn
n.a.
7Fr
0.70
Ra
0.89
Ac
1.10
 Rf
n.a.
Db
n.a.
Sg
n.a.
Bh
n.a.
Hs
n.a.
Mt
n.a.
Ds
n.a.
Rg
n.a.
Uub
n.a.
Uuq
n.a.
6 Ce
1.12
Pr
1.13
Nd
1.14
Pm
1.13
Sm
1.17
Eu
1.20
Gd
1.20
Tb
1.10
Dy
1.22
Ho
1.23
Er
1.24
Tm
1.25
Yb
1.10
Lu
1.27
7 Th
1.30
Pa
1.50
U
1.38
Np
1.36
Pu
1.28
Am
1.30
Cm
1.30
Bk
1.30
Cf
1.30
Es
1.30
Fm
1.30
Md
1.30
No
1.30
Lr
1.30

The electronegativity trends can be observed in the Periodic Table above.

Keep in mind that the Periodic Table is arranged effectively. By simply looking at the Periodic Table, you would be able to know and understand the different properties and relationships that these elements have. 

As for electronegativity, the Periodic Table already gives you an idea of an element’s electronegativity. 

If you look at the Periodic Table above, you would see that the electronegativity increases from Na to H (upwards)

Another trend in the Periodic Table is from B to O. The electronegativity is increasing as you move towards the right side of the Table

If you look at the element’s diagonal relationship, you would also notice a pattern in their electronegativity. From Na to F, the electronegativity is also increasing. 

So even if you do not know the electronegativity of an element, you would still be able to compare it with other elements if you simply refer to the Periodic Table. 

With that, we highly suggest you to better understand and know the trends in the Periodic Table so that you no longer have to memorize the whole electronegativity chart. 

The Periodic Table is a perfect reference or source because it is full of information and it gives us an overview of how these elements look like if you compare them with other elements. 

Practice Problems 

Now that you have an idea of what electronegativity is and how to read it from the Periodic Table, answer some of these practice problems from different education institutions. 

From its position in the periodic table, determine which atom in each pair is more electronegative:

A. Br or Cl

B. N or O

C. S or O

D. P or S

E. Si or N

F. Ba or P

G. N or K

You can view the answers here

Use electronegativity values to place the following elements in increasing order: F, N, Si, C, O

You can view the answers here

Does electronegativity increase or decrease when you go across a period on the periodic table?

Does it increase or decrease when you move down a group on the periodic table?

You can view the answer here

For the elements Cs, F, and Cl, the order of increasing electronegativity is 

A. F < Cl < Cs

B. Cs < Cl < F

C. Cl < Cs < F

D. F < Cs < Cl

E. None of these

Which element listed below has the highest electronegativity? 

A. K

B. Rb

C. Br.

D. Te

E. I

As a general pattern, electronegativity is inversely related to

A. ionization energy

B. atomic size

D. polarity of the atom

E. the number of neutrons in the nucleus

F. none of these

You can view the answers here

Which of the following atoms had the greatest tendency to attract electrons?

A. Beryllium

B. Boron

C. Barium

D. Bromine

Which of the following elements has the least attraction for electrons in a chemical bond?

A. Oxygen

B. Chlorine

C. Nitrogen

D. Flourine

Which elements has atom with the greatest attraction for electrons in a chemical bond?

A. Oxygen

B. Lithium

C. Berylium

D. Flourine

You can view the answers here 

Which of the following elements is less electronegative than carbon?

A. Si

B. N

C. Cl

D. F

Which of the following elements is the most electronegative?

A. B

B. C

C. Cl

D. N

Which of the following elements is the most electronegative?

A. Br

B. Cl

C. F

D. I

You can view the answers here

Conclusion

We hope we managed to explain electronegativity and its importance. 

Now that you have an idea of what it is, you can look at any Periodic Table confidently and be able to compare and determine the electronegativity of the different elements. 

To briefly what we have covered:

We have also discussed a few topics that we thought are relevant for your grade level such as

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Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!

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