The 6s orbital electron pair is strongly attracted by the nucleus due to the poor shielding effect of 4f and 5d orbitals. However there are other filled orbitals that shield the nucleus. In case of 5s orbital, it is nearer to the nucleus and has the other filled orbitals preceding it, in common with 6s orbital, except the 5p, 4f and 5d orbitals. For 5s orbital there are fewer orbitals shielding the nucleus and it is also nearer to the nucleus, in comparision to 6s orbital. So, why Bi shows inert pair effect and not Sb?

  • $\begingroup$ @paracetamol I mean it should be more pronounced in Sb because of less no. obstructing orbitals as compared to Bi. So why Bi? $\endgroup$ – Amyanshu Jenamani Oct 20 '17 at 16:53
  • $\begingroup$ The inert pair effect is a type of relativistic effect, which becomes more pronounced as the atomic number gets higher. I have a related previous answer which touches on Bi in the comments. $\endgroup$ – Nicolau Saker Neto Oct 20 '17 at 23:22

Antimony does show the inert pair effect. While antimony(V) oxide is known and bench-stable, heating it to over $\pu{700°C}$ will convert it to a mixture of antimony(III) and antimony(V) oxide showing that release of oxygen by reduction is thermodynamically possible.

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