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J Mol Model. 2017 Nov 28;23(12):357. doi: 10.1007/s00894-017-3534-2.

Electronic structures of elements according to ionization energies.

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Erie Community College (ECC), State University of New York (SUNY), 6205 Main Street, Williamsville, NY, 14221, USA.


The electronic structures of elements in the periodic table were analyzed using available experimental ionization energies. Two new parameters were defined to carry out the study. The first parameter-apparent nuclear charge (ANC)-quantified the overall charge of the nucleus and inner electrons observed by an outer electron during the ionization process. This parameter was utilized to define a second parameter, which presented the shielding ability of an electron against the nuclear charge. This second parameter-electron shielding effect (ESE)-provided an insight into the electronic structure of atoms. This article avoids any sort of approximation, interpolation or extrapolation. First experimental ionization energies were used to obtain the two aforementioned parameters. The second parameter (ESE) was then graphed against the electron number of each element, and was used to read the corresponding electronic structure. The ESE showed spikes/peaks at the end of each electronic shell, providing insight into when an electronic shell closes and a new one starts. The electronic structures of elements in the periodic table were mapped using this methodology. These graphs did not show complete agreement with the previously known "Aufbau" filling rule. A new filling rule was suggested based on the present observations. Finally, a new way to organize elements in the periodic table is suggested. Two earlier topics of effective nuclear charge, and shielding factor were also briefly discussed and compared numerically to demonstrate the capability of the new approach.


Apparent nuclear charge; Aufbau rule; Effective nuclear charge; Electron shielding effect; Electronic structure; Ionization energy; Periodic table; Shielding constant; Shielding factor


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