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Diagonal relationship

A Diagonal Relationship is said to exist between certain pairs of diagonally adjacent elements in the second and third periods of the periodic table. These pairs (Li & Mg, Be & Al, B & Si etc.) exhibit similar properties; for example, Boron and Silicon are both semiconductors, form halides that are hydrolysed in water and have acidic oxides.

Such a relationship occurs because crossing and descending the periodic table have opposing effects. On crossing a period of the periodic table, the size of the atoms decreases, and on descending a group the size of the atoms increases. Similarly, on moving along the period the elements become progressively more covalent, less reducing and more electronegative, whereas on descending the group the elements become more ionic, more basic and less electronegative. Thus, on both descending a group and crossing by one element the changes cancel each other out, and elements with similar properties which have similar chemistry are often found - the atomic size, electronegativity, properties of compounds (and so forth) of the diagonal members are similar.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Diagonal_relationship". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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