# Why Aren't Chlorides Of The Noble Gases As Prevalent As Their Fluorides?

I can't find the answer to this question on this SE website, and I apologize for the repetition if it has been answered before. It is my understanding that compound formation has only been observed for the noble gases argon, xenon, and krypton, while no compounds have ever been observed for neon and helium, and that this might have something to do with both the decreased ionization potential of larger noble gas atoms and the high value of electronegativity of the halogen (usually fluorine) that bonds with the noble gas atoms to form compounds. So, my question is why aren't compounds formed from argon, xenon, and krypton bonding with chlorine, bromine, and iodine as prevalent as those formed from those noble gases and fluorine? Could the smaller size of the fluorine atom be a reason for its apparently higher reactivity? -John

• 1) Molecular ions, containing Ne, He, Ar, were observed. 2) The question is more about relative stability. Many molecules, that are stable in vacuum, can't be isolated as pure compounds. 3) Noble gases have very low-energy, small outer orbitals, so they need similar partner to interact. Fluorine and to some extent oxygen have lowest-energy valence orbitals, so they give relatively stable compounds with noble gases. – permeakra Jul 22 '14 at 21:01
• The bond between fluorines in F2 is weak while bonds between fluorine and other atoms tend to be strong. – Brinn Belyea Jul 23 '14 at 1:20

• But electron affinity isn't only determinant of electronegativity, as you know. In the present case, we must look at the energy change between (say) $\ce{X_2{+}Xe}$ and $\ce{XeX_2}$. The lower dissociation energy of $\ce{F_2}$ compared to $\ce{Cl_2}$ (alluded to in brinb's comment) is enough to insure the combination is thermodynamically possible for F but not for Cl. – Silvio Levy Jul 23 '14 at 4:08
• @permeakra Perhaps you can flesh out your comment into an answer, using actual values of the energies. Table 3-3 in Harry Gray's "Chemical Bonds" gives the valence-orbital ionization energies as 115,000 cm${}^{-1}$ for Kr (4p), 111 for Cl (3p) and 151 for F (2p). Are those the relevant numbers for your argument? – Silvio Levy Jul 23 '14 at 8:49