The p-block is on the right side of the standard periodic table and encompasses elements in groups 13 to 18. Their general electronic configuration is ns2 np1–6. Helium, though being the first element in group 18, is not included in the p-block. Each row of the table has a place for six p-elements except for the first row (which has none).
This block is the only one having all three types of elements: metals, nonmetals, and metalloids. The p-block elements can be described on a group-by-group basis as: group 13, the icosagens; 14, the crystallogens; 15, the pnictogens; 16, the chalcogens; 17, the halogens; and 18, the helium group, composed of the noble gases (excluding helium) and oganesson. Alternatively, the p-block can be described as containing post-transition metals; metalloids; reactive nonmetals including the halogens; and noble gases (excluding helium).
The p-block elements are unified by the fact that their valence (outermost) electrons are in the p orbital. The p orbital consists of six lobed shapes coming from a central point at evenly spaced angles. The p orbital can hold a maximum of six electrons, hence there are six columns in the p-block. Elements in column 13, the first column of the p-block, have one p-orbital electron. Elements in column 14, the second column of the p-block, have two p-orbital electrons. The trend continues this way until column 18, which has six p-orbital electrons.
The block is a stronghold of the octet rule in its first row, but elements in subsequent rows often display hypervalence. The p-block elements show variable oxidation states usually differing by multiples of two. The reactivity of elements in a group generally decreases downwards. This is not case in group 18, where reactivity increases in the following sequence: Ne < He < Ar < Kr < Xe < Rn < Og (although helium, which breaks the trend, is not a part of the p-block; therefore the p-block portion of group 18 conforms to the trend).
The corrosive nonmetals of the p-block (F, Cl, Br, and I) tend to form ionic compounds with metals; the remaining reactive nonmetals tend to form covalent compounds. The metalloids (B, Si, Ge, As, Sb, Te, and At) tend to form either covalent compounds or alloys with metals.
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