What is the s block of the periodic table of elements

Unlike the other elements that are arranged in rows and columns in the periodic table, the s-block elements are arranged in a grid-like structure. This is a convenient way of showing the properties of the elements, since it allows us to see all of the s-block elements in one place (Gregory, 2001).


1. Occurrence

Unlike other elements of the periodic table, s-block elements occur in both their unformed and formed forms. This has some implications in the way they react in nature, and is also important in metallurgy and medical sciences. . They are found in ionic compounds and are important in various industrial and medical fields. Alkali metals are commonly found in the earth’s crust (Fromm, 2008).

s block

2. Properties of s block elements

The properties of s block elements are mainly based on electronic configurations. Despite their similar properties, s block elements have a different chemical and physical character than their p-block counterparts. The s-block is made up of the alkali metals. These are a group of metals that are monovalent, have low ionization energies, and act as good reducing agents. These metals are characterized by their silvery metallic properties. They are also good conductors of heat. These metals are also found in ionic compounds. In fact, alkali metals are often used to create salts (Coles, 2015).


2.1. Electronic configuration

The s-block elements are broken into 2 series and may be found at the left side of the periodical structure. The first series is the alkali metals. Second series is alkaline earth metals .These elements have one or two s electrons in the outermost shell. The s block elements of the modern periodic table are classified into two series, Group 1 and Group 2. Electronic configuration of group 1 is ns1 while that of group 2 is ns2. The first series contains elements such as Beryllium, Lithium, Rubidium, and Potassium. They are the most electropositive elements and form hydroxides with water.


2.2. Melting and boiling point

Melting and boiling points are a measure of the energy required to change an element from a liquid to a solid state. This energy is inversely related to the size of the atom and the strength of the metallic bond. Slowly decreasing the scientific chart, the temperatures at which substances melted and boils rise. This is because the metallic bond becomes stronger. Metals can only form stable bonds with certain crystal systems. While transition metals have higher molten and boils temperatures, metallic have lesser molten values. Reason being, when one moves through sodium to mg to aluminum, the amount of electrons also every atoms may donate increases.


2.3. Reactivity

Several s block elements feature prominently in firework colors. These elements are highly reactive, readily form chemical bonds, and have low ionization energies. They also tend to be soft solids. In addition to being found in ionic compounds, they are also found in alkaline earth metals. These metals are often silvery white. Some ores contain only alkali metals, while others have a mixture of alkali metals with other elements. Their reactivity enables them to react with water to form ions and salts. Alkali metals also contribute to the colour of oxidizing flames. The chemistry of these elements is relatively complex. They are characterized by a tendency to lose one or two electrons, resulting in a p-bond formation. These elements have small radii, so hydration energies are high.


2.4. Conductivity

s block elements are good conductors of heat and electricity as all these elements are metals and possess conduction electrons.


Recommended: Blocks in The Periodic Table of Elements


3. Applications of s block elements

• Several applications of s block elements are found in various fields. They can be used in a wide variety of commercial and medical settings. Alkali metals are used in inorganic chemical reactions (Gregory, 2001).
• They form hydroxides and hydrides, which are used in different industries. They also form compounds such as bicarbonates and oxides. They play a crucial role in organic chemistry as well. In biology, they are important in medicine, and in metallurgy they are used in various applications (Fromm, 2008).
• The compounds of s-block elements are used in different fields, including metallurgy, chemistry, biotechnology, medicine, and environmental science.
• They may be used in the manufacturing of electrolytic reaction and the metalworking industry. In addition to these applications, they are important in several industrial fields (Coles, 2015).



Generally speaking, s block elements belong to the first two groups of the periodic table, and are found in ionic compounds. Their chemical properties are different from those of the p block elements. They have a general valence electron configuration of ns1-2. These materials are efficient heat and electrical conductors, yet their ionizing energies are relatively modest. They can be very reactive. They react with water and acids to form salts.



1. Gregory, D. H. (2001). Nitride chemistry of the s-block elements. Coordination Chemistry Reviews, 215(1), 301-345.
2. Fromm, K. M. (2008). Coordination polymer networks with s-block metal ions. Coordination Chemistry Reviews, 252(8-9), 856-885.
3. Coles, M. P. (2015). The role of the bis-trimethylsilylamido ligand,[N {SiMe3} 2]−, in main group chemistry. Part 1: Structural chemistry of the s-block elements. Coordination Chemistry Reviews, 297, 2-23.