D-Block Elements: Properties & Electron Configuration

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  • 0:00 D-Block Elements
  • 0:35 Electron Configuration
  • 2:14 Properties Of D-Block Elements
  • 3:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Marauo Davis

Marauo has taught both chemistry and mathematics in the high school and college setting and has a Ph.D. degree in chemistry.

In this lesson, we'll explore the d-block elements, which are the transitional elements situated in the center of the periodic table of elements. Read on to learn about this block of elements as well as how they behave.

D-Block Elements

Have you ever taken a look at the periodic table and noticed that it is separated into different groups according to color? These groupings are blocks, which are made up of adjacent columns of elements with similar chemical or physical characteristics. You may have noticed that there is a large block of elements in the middle of the periodic table - these are the d-block elements. Also known as transition metals, d-block elements are arranged from groups 3-12 and defined by their d-electron configuration, which we'll discuss later on in the lesson.

D-Block Elements
d-block elements

Electron Configuration

Compared to their counterparts elsewhere on the periodic table, d-block elements have some very different chemistry. The primary characteristic that separates these metals from others is the composition of their d-electron, which is responsible for some very interesting bonding and reactivity.

In order for us to talk about d-electron configuration, we must first understand what electron configuration is and how it applies. Electron configuration is the arrangement of electrons in the orbitals of metals. Each element has its own unique electron configuration. When discussing bonding in molecules, it's important to know the orbitals involved - s,p,d, and f, which are abbreviations for the colored, or spectral, lines of an element.

For the transition metals, we are concerned mainly with d-orbitals, also known as the d-block elements. The d-orbital can hold, at most, 10 electrons. Valence electrons are those electrons required to form bonds with other elements. They are responsible for reactivity.

Transition metals have the potential for completely filled or partially filled orbitals that change their oxidation states. Although these metals can exist in several oxidation states, they follow a general trend. Starting from left to right across the d-block on the periodic table, or scandium (Sc) to zinc (Zn), the number of electrons in the d-orbital increases by one. Often times, chemists will refer to the stable or ground state of a transition metal by its d-label. For example, they may say d-5 to refer to manganese (Mn) in the ground state.

Properties of D-Block Elements

Like all metals, transition metals are highly thermal and electrically conductive; ductile, which means they can be stretched into a thin wire; and malleable, which means they can be molded without breaking.

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