Electron Affinities of the Main-Group Elements*
The electron affinity is a measure of the energy change when an electron is added to a neutral atom to form a negative ion. For example, when a neutral chlorine atom in the gaseous form picks up an electron to form a Cl- ion, it releases an energy of 349 kJ/mol or 3.6 eV/atom. It is said to have an electron affinity of -349 kJ/mol and this large number indicates that it forms a stable negative ion. Small numbers indicate that a less stable negative ion is formed. Groups VIA and VIIA in the periodic table have the largest electron affinities.
* Alkali earth elements (Group IIA) and noble gases (Group VIIIA) do not form stable negative ions.