# Which element is most likely to form a triple bond: Pb, F, N, or S?

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Which element is most likely to form a triple bond: Pb, F, N, or S?

The answer is N, but why?

• Uhm, here’s my logic

N has 5 valence electrons, meaning it can triple bond, have one lone pair, and still obey the octet rule.

F can’t triple bond – if it does, it would either disobey the octet rule (can’t happen, it’s in period 2 with no d orbitals) or have a really high positive formal charge, which isn’t likely since F is really electronegative and tends to hold on to its electrons.

Pb has 4 valence electrons. If it triple bond, it would leave one floating, unpaired electron. Unlikely.

Finally, S has 6 valence electrons. If it triple bonds, it would have one lone pair, and an extra electron to bond with something else. It’s logistically possible, since elements beyond period 2 can go disobey the octet rule, but it’s not as likely to occur.

N just fits.

• What Is A Triple Bond

• Nitrogen or N has seven electrons (duh). These electrons fill up “energy levels” kind of like how you fill an ice cube tray by continuously filling the same “spot” with water. The water fills up and then starts overflowing into other sections of the the tray until they fill up and then water overflows to another section until the tray is all filled. These sections have names 1s, 2s. 2px 2py 2pz etc. For some reason electrons fill up these compartments by pairs Now the 1s compartment is the easiest to fill so it is filled first with to electrons, So now we have five left. Then comes the 2s which is the next easiest to fill so we put two in there leaving us three. Now this part is tricky if you have understood all of this so far. The 2px, 2py and 2pz are all the “same” energywise and I really don’t know if it is because like charges repel or what not but the 2px, 2py and 2pz all get filled at the same time. So one electron will go into the 2px one will go into the 2py and one will go into the 2pz. Since there are now three unpaired electrons, they are readily available for bonding.or triple bonding in your case.

I wish I could explain this to you in person, but I hope this helps.

Source(s): I am a freaking chemical engineer.
• Nitrogen because unlike the other ones it has 3 valence electrons so it needs 3 bonds to fill up its outer shell.

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