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In the case of lanthanide elements, the atomic and ionic radius gradually decrease as the atomic coefficient increases along with the phase, although the decrease in ionic radius is much more regular than the decrease in atomic radius. This reduction in the atomic non-ionic radius of lanthanide elements is called lanthanide contraction. It is also called f-contraction.

Cause of Lanthanide Contraction

The general electron configuration of lanthanide elements is 4f1-14 5d0-1 6s2. The differential electrons of these elements enter the 4f orbital. The shielding effect of the electrons in this orbital is very small due to the diffused shape of the f orbitals. As the electrons enter the 4f orbital, the atomic number of the elements increases one by one, but the shielding effect of the 4f electrons does not increase significantly. As a result, the attraction of the nucleus to the electrons in the outer cell gradually increases and the atomic and ionic radius gradually decreases.

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