7.1 Discuss the general characteristics of Group 15 elements with reference to their electronic configuration, oxidation state, atomic size, ionisation enthalpy and electronegativity

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Since all the elements in group 15 have 5 valence electrons, Electronic configuration of group 15 element is  ns2np3 where n= 2 to 6. All element requires three more electrons to complete their octets. However, gaining electrons is very difficult as the nucleus will have to attract three more electrons. This can take place only with nitrogen as it is the smallest in size and the distance between the nucleus and the valence shell is relatively small. The rest elements of this group show a formal oxidation state of -3 in their covalent compounds. N and P also show -1 and -2 oxidation states In addition to the -3 state. every element which is present in this group shows +3 and +5 oxidation states. whereas, the stability of the +5 oxidation state decreases as we go down a group, whereas the stability of +3 oxidation state increases. This happens because of the inert pair effect.

First ionization decreases on moving down a group. This is because of increasing atomic sizes. As we move down a group, electronegativity decreases, due to an increase in size. As we go down in the group, the atomic size increases. This increase in the atomic size is credited to an increase in the number of shells.

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