Paramagnetism & Diamagnetism

Paramagnetism refers to elements or ions that contain at least one unpaired electron, while diamagnetism refers to elements or ions with no unpaired electrons. 

Understanding Paramagnetism & Diamagnetism

Concept: Paramagnetism vs. Diamagnetism 

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Video Transcript

In this new video, we're going to take a look at paramagnetic and diamagnetic ions.
What do we mean by paramagnetism or diamagnetism? Well, paramagnetism means that our element, or sometimes our ion, has unpaired electrons. Remember, we talked about having electron orbitals. We'll say that this is an s and this is a p. If this is one up and one down, we'd say that those two electrons are paired up with each other. They're next to each other in the same orbital.
Let's say we had another electron over here. There's only one electron within that electron orbital by itself. We'd say that that electron, which is pointing up, is unpaired. As a result, whichever element or ion this is that element would have an unpaired electron and as long as you have one unpaired electron, you would be paramagnetic.
Elements or ions with unpaired electrons are actually – they can be influenced like magnets. That's where the name comes from, paramagnetism. If you're diamagnetic, diamagnetic means you have no unpaired electrons at all. Therefore you won't be influenced by any type of magnet. Just remember that paramagnetism means you have at least one unpaired electron. Diamagnetism means you have no unpaired electrons. 

An element or ion is diamagnetic when it has no unpaired electrons. 

An element or ion is paramagnetic when it has at least one unpaired electron. 

Example: Write the condensed electron configuration of each ion and state if the ion is paramagnetic or diamagnetic.

a. Ni3+

 

b. S2-

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Problem: Write the condensed electron configuration and state if the ion is paramagnetic or diamagnetic.

Cu+

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Paramagnetism & Diamagnetism Additional Practice Problems

Which of the following has the largest number of unpaired electrons?

a) 15P

b) 22Ti

c) 30Zn

d) 13Al

e) 26Fe

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Of the first row transition elements listed below, which is or are diamagnetic?

(1) Ti (#22) (2) Fe (#26) (3) Zn (#30)

a. (1) and (2) only

b. (1) and (3) only

c. (2) and (3) only

d. only (1) OR only (2) OR only (3)

e. (1), (2) and (3) - all three

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Which element has the most unpaired electrons in the orbital set indicated by parentheses?

a. carbon (p)

b. barium (s)

c. oxygen (p)

d. vanadium (d)

e. chlorine (p)

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Which of the following individual atoms has a paramagnetic electronic structure?

1. Be

2. Mg

3. Li

4. Ne

5. He

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Give the electron configuration for each of the following elements and its ion. For the ion, state if it is  paramagnetic or  diamagnetic

Cr

 

Cr+

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Which of the following elements are diamagnetic?

I. H      II. He      III. Be     IV. B      V. C

 

a) I, II, III

b) II, III

c) II, III, IV

d) III, IV, V

e) I, III, IV

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How many unpaired electrons does an atom of fluorine have?

a) 3

b) 1

c) 2

d) 0

e) 4

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How many elements in the second row (period) of the Periodic Table are diamagnetic in atomic form?

a.  7

b.  1

c.  6

d.  0

e.  2

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Diamagnetic substances

a. are attracted to a magnetic field because they contain unpaired electrons.

b. are repelled by a magnetic field because they contain only paired electrons.

c. become permanently aligned in a magnetic field.

d. are not affected by a magnetic field.

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Species with unpaired electrons are paramagnetic and

a. are seldom found in compounds of Groups IA, IIA, and IIIA.

b. exist for at least one oxidation state of transition metals.

c. are attracted to a magnetic field.

d. each of these statements are true.

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Which of the following individual atoms has a paramagnetic electronic structure?

1. Be

2. Mg

3. Li

4. Ne

5. He

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Which of the following ions is paramagnetic?

A. Se2–

B. Ba2+

C. Pb4+

D. Ti2+

E. Zn2+

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Which of the following species is diamagnetic?

1. Ti2+

2. Ba

3. S

4. Ni2+

Watch Solution