Skoltech chemists have proposed a new electronegativity scale and printed their findings in Nature Communications.

The idea of electronegativity launched by Linus Pauling, a nice American chemist, within the Thirties refers back to the capability of an atom to draw electron density. In a chemical bond, the extra electronegative atom features further electrons, changing into negatively charged, whereas the much less electronegative one loses electrons and turns into positively charged. Electronegativity is a basic notion, important for explaining issues that vary from chemical bonds’ power to the (in)stability of chemical compounds and the colour and hardness of crystals.

Since then, chemists have give you numerous definitions and scales of electronegativity. Yet Pauling’s scale is the primary and the most typical one, current in each chemistry textbook. Pauling deduced his electronegativity values from thermochemistry utilizing the energies of some chemical bonds. He proposed the only method to calculate a bond’s stabilization because of the distinction in electronegativity between the atoms. It later transpired that the predictions made with Pauling’s scale had a reasonably low accuracy.

Skoltech Professor Artem R. Oganov and analysis scientist Christian Tantardini ventured to switch Pauling’s method and redefine the electronegativities of parts and ended up creating a new scale of electronegativity.

“It all started when we decided to calculate Pauling’s electronegativities under pressure. The chemistry of high pressures is quite exotic. Still, you will likely be able to understand a lot of things once you find out how the electronegativities of elements change under pressure. We used Pauling’s definition to calculate electronegativity under normal conditions. We were amazed to discover that his scale did not match either theoretical or experimental bond energies for significantly ionic molecules. Moreover, many publications in chemical literature mention this inconsistency, but none offer a consistent solution. I realized that the root cause was that Pauling treated the molecule’s ionic stabilization as an additive effect. If we consider it a multiplicative effect, many drawbacks will be removed. With the new formula and experimental energies of chemical bonds, we determined the electronegativities of all the elements. We obtained a beautiful scale that works both for small and large differences in electronegativity,” Professor Oganov explains.

The new scale makes use of electronegativity as a dimensionless amount, which may be very sensible and precisely reproduces each molecules’ energies and chemical reactions.


Skoltech is a non-public worldwide college situated in Russia. Established in 2011 in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Skoltech is cultivating a new technology of leaders within the fields of science, know-how, and enterprise is conducting analysis in breakthrough fields and is selling technological innovation with the purpose of fixing important issues that face Russia and the world. Skoltech is specializing in six precedence areas: knowledge science and synthetic intelligence, life sciences, superior supplies and fashionable design strategies, power effectivity, photonics, and quantum applied sciences, and superior analysis. Web:

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