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Difference Between Actinides And Lanthanides

Chemical Bonding
In the previous sessions, we have seen the characteristics of actinides and lanthanides. It can be seen that lanthanides and actinides in which the 4f and 5f orbitals are being filled show certain similarities and also certain differences. Here is the comparison of the lanthanides and actinides.

Similarities between lanthanides and actinides

  • Both the series show a +3 oxidation state.

  • In both the series the f-orbitals are filled gradually.

  • Ionic radius of the elements in both the series decreases with the increase in atomic number.

  • The electro negativity of all the elements in both the series is low and are said to be highly reactive.

  • The nitrates, per chlorates and sulphates of all the elements are soluble while the hydroxides, fluorides and carbonates are insoluble.

Differences between lanthanides and actinides

  • Lanthanides have the ability to show a maximum oxidation state of +4 while actinides show oxidation states of +3, +4, +5, +6 and +7.

  • Lanthanides do not form complexes easily. Actinides have a greater tendency to form complexes with ligands such as thio-ethers.

  • All lanthanides are non-radioactive except promethium but actinides are radioactive in nature.

  • Lanthanides do not form oxocations, but actinides form oxocations such as UO+, PuO+, NpO2+.

  • Most of the lanthanides are colorless in nature but most of the actinides are colored ions.

Solved problems
  • In which of the following series all the elements are radioactive in nature

    • Lanthanides
    • Actinides
    • D-block elements
    • S-block elements
    Answer: b
  • The ease of complex formation is seen in

    • Lanthanides
    • Actinides
    • Both form complexes easily
    • Cannot be predicted
    Answer: b
  • Which series of f-block all the elements have colored ions

    • Lanthanides
    • Actinides
    • Both
    • Both do not have colored ions
    Answer: b

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