Explain the metallic character of group 14 elements.

The metallic character of group 14 elements increases from top to bottom because removing the electron becomes easier on moving down the group.

Group 14 Elements

Group 14 is the carbon family. The five members are carbon, silicon, germanium, tin, and lead. All of these elements have four electrons in their outermost energy level. Of the Group 14 elements, only carbon and silicon form bonds as non-metals (sharing electrons covalently). Germanium is a metalloid, and tin and lead are metals. Metallic character increases from carbon to lead. The change from non-metallic to metallic character is due to increased atomic size from carbon to lead. Consequently, the ionization potential decreases from carbon to lead. Hence, the electropositive character increases favouring ionic bonding, especially with oxidation state +2. At the same time, carbon and silicon show a +4 oxidation state forming covalent bonding with electron sharing.

  • Metallic character increases from top to bottom because down the group ionisation energy of elements decreases so tend to lose an electron and hence metallic character increases down the group.

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