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Potassium: properties of free atoms

Potassium atoms have 19 electrons and the shell structure is  2.8.8.1.

The ground state electron configuration of ground state gaseous neutral potassium is  [Ar].4s1 and the term symbol is  2S1/2.

Kossel shell structure of potassium
Schematic electronic configuration of potassium.
Kossel shell structure of potassium
The Kossel shell structure of potassium.

Atomic spectrum

 

A representation of the atomic spectrum of potassium.

Ionisation Energies and electron affinity

The electron affinity of potassium is 48.4 kJ mol‑1. The ionisation energies of potassium are given below.

Ionisation energies of potassium
Ionisation energy number Enthalpy / kJ mol‑1
1st418.81
2nd3051.35
3rd4419.3
4th5878
5th7975
6th9594
7th11340
8th14940
9th16960
10th48600
11th54570
12th60890 (inferred)
13th68960
14th75870
15th83070
16th93370
17th99818
18th444881
19th476063
Ionisation energies of potassium
Ionisation energies of potassium.

Effective Nuclear Charges

The following are "Clementi-Raimondi" effective nuclear charges, Zeff. Follow the hyperlinks for more details and for graphs in various formats.

Effective nuclear charges for potassium
1s18.4895  
2s13.01 2p15.03  
3s8.68 3p7.73 3d(no data)  
4s3.50 4p(no data) 4d(no data) 4f(no data)
5s(no data) 5p(no data) 5d(no data)  
6s(no data) 6p(no data)  
7s   

References

These effective nuclear charges, Zeff, are adapted from the following references:

  1. E. Clementi and D.L.Raimondi, J. Chem. Phys. 1963, 38, 2686.
  2. E. Clementi, D.L.Raimondi, and W.P. Reinhardt, J. Chem. Phys. 1967, 47, 1300.

Electron binding energies

Electron binding energies for potassium. All values of electron binding energies are given in eV. The binding energies are quoted relative to the vacuum level for rare gases and H2, N2, O2, F2, and Cl2 molecules; relative to the Fermi level for metals; and relative to the top of the valence band for semiconductors.
Label Orbital eV [literature reference]
K 1s3608.4 [2]
L I2s378.6 [2]
L II2p1/2297.3 [2]
L III2p3/2294.6 [2]
M I3s34.8 [2]
M II3p1/218.3 [2]
M III3p3/218.3 [2]

Notes

I am grateful to Gwyn Williams (Jefferson Laboratory, Virginia, USA) who provided the electron binding energy data. The data are adapted from references 1-3. They are tabulated elsewhere on the WWW (reference 4) and in paper form (reference 5).

References

  1. J. A. Bearden and A. F. Burr, "Reevaluation of X-Ray Atomic Energy Levels," Rev. Mod. Phys., 1967, 39, 125.
  2. M. Cardona and L. Ley, Eds., Photoemission in Solids I: General Principles (Springer-Verlag, Berlin) with additional corrections, 1978.
  3. Gwyn Williams WWW table of values
  4. D.R. Lide, (Ed.) in Chemical Rubber Company handbook of chemistry and physics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 81st edition, 2000.
  5. J. C. Fuggle and N. Mårtensson, "Core-Level Binding Energies in Metals," J. Electron Spectrosc. Relat. Phenom., 1980, 21, 275.