I was reading about ionic bonds and main-group chemistry this morning and one thing struck my attention.
Apparently, lithium is the only one of the alkali metals that can react with nitrogen gas. Wikipedia adds that lithium nitride is the only stable
alkali metal nitride.
Observing that lithium has the highest first ionization energy and is the least reactive of the group, I am really wondering why this is so.
The only thing that comes to mind is that the Lattice energy of other compounds such as Na3
N and K3
N is greatly reduced so the reaction is now endothermic.
Am I on the right track or are there more factors that come into play? I'd ask my teacher, but I'm too cool for school until I get back into college