Phosphorus: radii of atoms and ions

One measure of size is the element-element distance within the element. It is not always easy to make sensible comparisons between the elements however as some bonds are quite short because of multiple bonding (for instance the O=O distance in O2 is short because of the the double bond connecting the two atoms. The bond length in PP is: 221pm.

There are several other ways ways to define radius for atoms and ions. Follow the appropriate hyperlinks for literature references and definitions of each type of radius. All values of radii are given in picometres (pm). Conversion factors are:

  • 1 pm = 1 × 10‑12 metre (meter)
  • 100 pm = 1 Ångstrom
  • 1000 pm = 1 nanometre (nm, nanometer)

Neutral radii

The size of neutral atoms depends upon the way in which the measurement is made and the environment. Follow the appropriate hyperlinks for definitions of each radius type. The term "atomic radius" is not particularly helpful although its use is widespread. The problem is its meaning, which is clearly very different in different sources and books. Two values are given here, one is based upon calculations and the other upon observation - follow the appropriate link for further details.

Radius type Radius value / pm Periodicity link
Atomic radius (empirical) 100 Atomic radius (empirical) of the chemical elements on a miniature periodic table spark table
Atomic radius (calculated) 98 Atomic radius of the chemical elements on a miniature periodic table spark table
Covalent radius (2008 values) 107 Covalent radius (2008 values) on a periodic table spark table
Molecular single bond covalent radius 111 (coordination number 3) Covalent (single bond) radius on a periodic table spark table
Molecular double bond covalent radius 102 Covalent (double bond) radius on a periodic table spark table
Molecular triple bond covalent radius 94 Covalent (triple bond) radius on a periodic table spark table
Covalent radius (empirical) 106 Covalent radius on a periodic table spark table
van der Waals radius 180 van der Waals radius on a periodic table spark table

Valence shell orbital radii

The following are calculated values of valence shell orbital radii, Rmax

Table: valence shell orbital radii for phosphorus.
Orbital Radius [/pm] Radius [/AU] Periodicity link
s orbital 83.7 1.58227 s-orbital valence radii on a periodic table spark table
p orbital 97.8 1.84815 p-orbital valence radii on a periodic table spark table
d orbital no information no information d-orbital valence radii on a periodic table spark table
f orbital no information no information f-orbital valence radii on a periodic table spark table

References

The Rmax values for neutral gaseous element valence orbitals are abstracted from reference 1.

  1. J.B. Mann, Atomic Structure Calculations II. Hartree-Fock wave functions and radial expectation values: hydrogen to lawrencium, LA-3691, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, USA, 1968.

Ionic radii

This table gives some ionic radii. In this table, geometry refers to the arrangment of the ion's nearest neighbours. Size does depend upon geometry and environment. For electronic configurations, where it matters, the values given for octahedral species are low spin unless stated to be high spin. The terms low spin and high spin refer to the electronic configurations of particular geomtries of certain d-block metal ions. Further information is available in inorganic chemistry textbooks, usually at Level 1 or First Year University level. For definitions of ionic radius and further information, follow the hypertext link.

Ion Coordination type Radius / pm Periodicity link
P(V)4-coordinate, tetrahedral31Ionic radius (tetrahedral, pentacation) on a periodic table spark table
P(III)6-coordinate, octahedral58
P(V)6-coordinate, octahedral52Ionic radius (octahedral, pentacation) on a periodic table spark table

Pauling ionic radii

This table shows Pauling radii for phosphorus
Ion Pauling radius / pm Periodicity link
P(I) 59 Pauling radius (monocation) on a periodic table spark table
P(V)34Pauling radius (pentacation) on a periodic table spark table
P(-I)279Pauling radius (monoanion) on a periodic table spark table
P(-IV)212Pauling radius (tetraanion) on a periodic table spark table

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