Xenon, a chemical element with the symbol Xe and atomic number 54,is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-flammable, nontoxic inert gas. It is an extremely rare noble gas found on the earth"s surface.

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It is used in flash lamps, arc lamps, and also used as generalanesthesia. Mostly noble gases do not react with other atoms but unlikelyxenon readily reacts with fluorine to form different fluorides. XeF6, XeF4and XeF2 are the three stable fluorides of xenon. XeF can be produced but theoretically, it is highly unstable. It can also reacts with chlorine, bromine, and iodine toform XeCl2, XeCl4, XeClF, XeBr and XeI.

You are here to know valence electrons and valency of xenon,aren’t you? But before that let’s have some ideas about what these two termsare:

Difference Between Valence Electrons and Valency

Valence electrons are the total number of electrons presentin the outermost shell of an atom (i.e. in outermost orbital). The valenceelectrons for a neutral atom is always definite, it cannot be varied (more orless) in any condition for a particular atom and may or may not be equal to itsvalency.


Valency is defined as the total number of electrons an atomcan lose, gain, or share at the time of bond formation to get a stableelectronic configuration i.e. to complete an octet. The valency of an atom canbe variable in different compounds or chemical reactions due to the differentbonding circumstances. Most of the time valency varies/changes due to change inoxidation and reduction states.

Xenon (Xe) Valence Electrons

There are four simple steps to find out the valenceelectrons for xenon atom which are:

Step 1: Find the Atomic Number


To find out the atomic number of xenon, we can use theperiodic table. With the help of the periodic table, we can easily see that the atomic number of xenon is 54. As its atomic number is 54, it has 54 protons,and for neutral xenon, the number of protons is always equal to the number ofelectrons i.e. Xe has 54 electrons in its nucleus.

Step 2: Write Electron Configuration


Electron configuration is the arrangement of electrons onthe orbitals. The xenon atom has a total of 54 electrons so, we have to put 54 electrons in orbitals.The electrons will be placed in orbital according to this energy levels: <1s, 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p, 4s, 3d, 4p, 5s, 4d, 5p, 6s, 4f, 5d, 6p, 7s, 5f>. Now,

Xenon electron configuration Xe (54) =1s22s²2p⁶3s²3p⁶3d¹⁰4s²4p⁶4d¹⁰5s²5p⁶(completeconfiguration)

= 4d¹⁰5s²5p⁶ (condensed configuration).

Step3: Determine Valence Shell

As we know, the valence shell of an atom can be found fromthe highest number of principle quantum numbers which is expressed in the termof n, and in4d¹⁰5s²5p⁶, the highest value of n is 5 so that the valence shell of Xeis5s²5p⁶.

Step 4: Find Valence Electrons

The total number of electrons present in the valence shellof an atom is called valence electrons, and there is only one electron presentin the valence shell of xenon (5s²5p⁶). Thus, xenon has eight valence electrons.

Valency of Xenon (Xe)

There are many different ways to find out the valency of anatom which reflects the ability of an atom to bond with other atoms. Valencedescribes how easily an atom or a free radical can combine with other chemicalspecies. The valency of an atom is determined based on the number of electronslost, gained, or shared with another atom at the time of bond formation.

An atom is said to be stable when its outermost shells haveeight electrons (except H & He). If the total number of electrons inoutermost shells is between one to four, the atom has positive valency and ifelectrons are between four to eight, the valency is calculated by subtractingfrom eight and valency will be zero. Atoms having four outermost electronspossess both positive and negative valency, and atoms having eight outermostelectrons, valency will be zero (i.e. noble gases).

Noble gases like xenon have eight valence electrons so itdoes not require to lose or gain electrons to complete their energy shell i.e. stableoctet. So that they do not have any tendency to combine with other elementswhich makes the valency of xenon zero. Because valency is all about lose, gain, orshare of electrons.

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We can also find the valency of xenon with the help of a periodictable. As xenon belongs to group 8A which are groups of noble gases having valencyzero.