Why Is Lithium Quite Different From The Other Alkali Metals?


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Lithium is much harder and lighter than the other alkali metals. The lithium salt of anion with high charge density is generally less soluble in water than those of other alkali metals like LiOH or LiF. Lithium forms stable complex compounds. Lithium reacts very slowly with water while other alkali metals react violently.
Lithium salts of large polarizable anions are less stable than those of other alkali metals. Unlike other alkali metals lithium does not form bicarbonate, tri-carbonate or hydrogen sulphide at room temperature. When burnt in air lithium form only normal oxide whereas others forms peroxide or super oxide. Lithium hydride is more stable than the hydrides of other alkali metals.
Lithium compounds are more covalent, that is why its halides are more soluble in organic solvents and the alkyls and other aryls of lithium are more stable than those of other alkali metals. Lithium is the least reactive metal of all the alkali metals. Lithium has low electropositive character, thus its carbonates and nitrates are not so stable and decompose giving lithium oxide.

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