Electronegativity is a measure of an atom’s ability to attract electrons when forming a chemical bond with another atom. The electronegativity scale ranges from 0 to 4, with higher values indicating greater electronegativity. Fluorine has the highest electronegativity value of 4 while francium has the lowest value of 0.7.
The electronegativity of lithium is 0.98.
Although lithium has a low electronegativity value, it is still considered a very reactive element. This is because lithium only has one electron in its outermost shell, making it very unstable and eager to donate that electron to another atom to achieve a more stable configuration.
When lithium reacts with other elements, it forms ionic or covalent bonds depending on the difference in electronegativity between the two atoms.
In a covalent bond, two atoms share one or more electrons in their outermost shells to achieve a stable configuration. The difference in electronegativity between the two atoms determines the polarity of the bond.
When two atoms have similar electronegativity values, they form a nonpolar covalent bond, where the common electrons are shared equally between the atoms. On the other hand, when two atoms have a significant difference in electronegativity values, they form a polar covalent bond, where the electrons are shared unequally between the atoms.
In the case of lithium, it can form both ionic and covalent bonds depending on the element it combines with. When lithium reacts with an element with higher electronegativity, such as fluorine or oxygen, it forms a polar covalent bond. On the other hand, when lithium reacts with an element with lower electronegativity, such as sodium or potassium, it forms an ionic bond.