Main difference – Valence electron vs totally free Electrons

An atom is composed of three species of subatomic particle: electrons, protons, and also neutrons. Protons and neutrons room in the cell core of the atom. Electrons space located exterior the nucleus. These electrons space in consistent movement roughly the cell nucleus at certain distances. The pathways that these electrons relocate in are referred to as electron shells or orbitals. One atom have the right to have one or much more orbitals. Valence electrons are the electron that have the right to be uncovered in the outermost orbit of an atom. Cost-free electrons room not bound come atoms. This electrons can be found in lattice structures. They room in free movement inside the lattice. The key difference in between valence electrons and totally free electrons is that the variety of electrons is one elemental residential property whereas the number of complimentary electrons is a lattice property.

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Key locations Covered

1. What space Valence Electrons – Definition, Examples, impact on the Oxidation State 2. What are complimentary Electrons – Definition, incident 3. What is the Difference between Valence electrons and totally free Electrons – comparison of vital Differences

Key Terms: Atom, atomic Number, Electrons, free Electrons, Lattice, Metal, Neutrons, Nucleus, Orbital, Protons, Valence Electrons


What space Valence Electrons

Valence electrons space electrons current in the outermost orbitals of one atom. These space the electron that have actually the least attraction towards the nucleus of an atom. This is because valence electrons are located in a long distance than various other electrons of that atom.

Valence electrons room responsible because that chemical reactions and chemical bonding of one atom. Because the attraction between valence electrons and the cell core of one atom is less, valence electrons can quickly be eliminated (than the electron in the within orbitals). This is important in the formation of ionic compounds and covalent compounds. By losing valence electrons, atoms can kind cations. Share valence electrons of one atom v the valence electrons of one more atom develops covalent bonds.

Group in the regular Table

Number that Valence Electrons

Group 1 (ex: Na, K)


Group 2 (ex: Ca, Mg)


Group 13 (ex: B, Al)


Group 14 (ex: C, Si)


Group 15 (ex: N, P)


Group 16 (ex: O, S)


Group 17 (ex: F, Cl)


Group 18 (ex: He, Ne)


For s block elements and p block elements, the valence electrons space in the outermost orbital. But for transition elements, the valence electrons deserve to be present in within orbitals as well. This is due to the power difference between the suborbitals. Because that example, the atomic number of Manganese (Mn) is 25. The electron configuration of cobalt is 3d54s2. The valence electrons of cobalt need to be in the 4s orbital. Yet there are 7 valence electron in Mn. The electrons in the 3d orbit are likewise considered together valence electrons due to the fact that the 3d orbit is located outside the 4s orbit (the energy of 3d is higher than the 4s orbital).


Figure 1: Valence electrons of Carbon

The oxidation state of one atom relies on the valence electrons of the atom. Some atoms remove valence electrons in stimulate to obtain stabilized. Then the oxidation state of the atom increases. Part atoms gain much more electrons in the outermost orbital. Then the number of valence electrons of that atom increases. That decreases the oxidation state that the atom.

What are totally free Electrons

Free electrons are electrons that are not attached come an atom. Cost-free electrons can not be discovered everywhere. This is since a lone electron is an extremely reactive and can react through anything. Yet in crystal structures and metals, cost-free electrons can be found.

Free electrons space the delocalized electrons from the lattice. In crystal structures, some electrons execute not continue to be in their place because of crystal defects. Lock become cost-free electrons that deserve to move everywhere inside the lattice. These electrons room responsible because that the conduction that heat and also electricity.


Figure 2: complimentary Electrons in a metal Lattice

In metals, over there are cost-free electrons in between metal ions. That is a lattice of metal ions in a sea of totally free electrons. These cost-free electrons have the right to conduct heat and also electricity with the metal. These complimentary electrons can conduct one electrical current via the metal.

Difference in between Valence electrons and cost-free Electrons


Valence Electrons: Valence electrons space the electrons present in the outermost orbitals of an atom.

Free Electrons: free electrons space electrons that space not attached to an atom.

Attraction to the Nucleus

Valence Electrons: Valence electrons have less attraction in the direction of the nucleus of an atom.

Free Electrons: totally free electrons have no attraction in the direction of the nucleus of an atom.

Chemical Bonding

Valence Electrons: Valence electrons room responsible because that the chemical bonding of an atom.

Free Electrons:  totally free electrons are not associated in chemical bonding.

Conduction of Heat and also Electricity

Valence Electrons: Valence electrons cannot conduct heat and electricity.

Free Electrons: free electrons room responsible for the conduction of heat and also electricity.


Valence Electrons: The variety of valence electrons is an element property.

Free Electrons: The number of complimentary electrons is a lattice property.


Valence electrons space electrons that are loosely bound to an atom. Free electrons are fully unbound to any type of atom. Valence electrons space responsible because that the chemistry reactions and chemical bonding that atoms. Cost-free electrons take part in heat and also electricity conduction of a lattice structure. There are many differences in between valence electrons and totally free electrons. The main difference is that the variety of electrons is an elemental residential property whereas the number of totally free electrons is a lattice property.

See more: How To Divide A Rectangle Into 4 Equal Parts


1. “Valence electron.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Oct. 2017, easily accessible here.2. “The totally free Electron.” NDT source center, available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Carbon diagonal rule” By CK-12 structure (raster), Adrignola (vector) – File:High school Chemistry.pdf, web page 317 (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia