Key PointsThe lanthanide and actinide collection make up the inner shift metals.The lanthanide series includes elements 58 to 71, which fill their 4f sublevel progressively.The actinides are elements 89 come 103 and also fill their 5f sublevel progressively.Actinides are usual metals and also have properties of both the d-block and the f-block elements, however they are additionally radioactive.Lanthanides have various chemistry from shift metals since their 4f orbitals room shielded from the atom’s environment.

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Termslanthanide contractionThe gradual decrease in the radii of atom of the lanthanide aspects as the atomic number increases; evident in various physical properties of the elements and their compounds.lanthanideAny the the 14 rare earth aspects from lanthanum to lutetium in the periodic table. Due to the fact that their outermost orbitals space empty, they have very similar chemistry. Below them space the actinides.actinideAny of the 14 radioactive elements of the periodic table that room positioned under the lanthanides, v which castle share similar chemistry.

The lanthanides and actinides type a group that appears virtually disconnected from the remainder of the regular table. This is the f block of elements, recognized as the inner transition series. This is as result of the appropriate numerical position between Groups 2 and also 3 that the shift metals.

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A blank periodic table mirroring the lanthanide and also actinide seriesThe red highlighted team shows the lanthanide series and the blue highlighted group shows the actinide series.

Electron Configuration

The 14 elements (numbers 58 to 71) of the lanthanide series are also known together the rare planet elements. Many lanthanides are created when uranium and plutonium undergo nuclear reactions. Atom bombs charged with plutonium (actinoid) were used in civilization War II. Plutonium to be a power source for Voyager spacecrafts released in 1977 and also is additionally used in synthetic heart pacemakers.

The f sublevel includes seven orbitals, every of which will hold two electrons. Therefore, the is feasible to location 14 electron in the 4f sublevel. Typically speaking, the lanthanides have actually electron configurations the follow the Aufbau rule, and also the 4f sublevel is filled as atomic number boosts from cerium (Ce) come lutetium (Lu). However, there are three lanthanide steels that have properties similar to the d block: cerium (Ce), lutetium (Lu), and also gadolinium (Gd). Every one of these metals contain a d electron in their electron configuration.

A comparable overall tendency holds for the 14 facets in the actinide collection (numbers 90 come 103): indigenous thorium (Th) come Lawrencium (Lr), the 5f sublevel is increasingly filled.

Elemental Properties

The chemistry the the lanthanides differs from main group aspects and transition metals because of the nature that the 4f orbitals. These orbitals are “buried” within the atom and are shielded native the atom’s environment by the 4d and 5p electrons. Together a consequence, the chemistry of the aspects is largely identified by their size, i beg your pardon decreases slowly with boosting atomic number. This phenomenon is known as the lanthanide contraction. Every the lanthanide aspects exhibit the oxidation state +3.

Actinides are typical metals. Every one of them space soft, have actually a silvery shade (but tarnish in air), and have relatively high density and also plasticity. Several of them can be cut with a knife. The hardness the thorium is comparable to that of soft steel, so heated pure thorium can be rolled in sheets and also pulled into wire. Thorium is nearly half as dense as uranium and also plutonium but is harder 보다 both the them.

Unlike the lanthanides, most aspects of the actinide series have the exact same properties together the d block. Members the the actinide series can shed multiple electron to form a variety of various ions. All actinides space radioactive, paramagnetic, and, v the exception of actinium, have several crystalline phases. All actinides space pyrophoric, particularly when carefully divided (i.e., castle spontaneously ignite ~ above exposure to air).

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The melting suggest of actinides does not have actually a clear dependency on the number of f electrons. The unusually short melting suggest of neptunium and plutonium (~640 °C) is explained by hybridization of 5f and also 6d orbitals and the development of directional binding in these metals. Choose the lanthanides, all actinides are very reactive through halogens and also chalcogens; however, the actinides react an ext easily. Actinides, particularly those through a small variety of 5f electrons, room prone to hybridization. This is defined by the similarity that the electron energies in ~ the 5f, 7s, and 6d subshells. Most actinides exhibit a larger range of valence states.


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