Lithium Electron Configuration: 7 Facts You Should Know!

Lithium is an alkali metal with atomic number 3 and belongs to Group 1 under the s-block of the periodic table. Let us understand the electronic configurations of lithium.

The electron configuration of Lithium (Li) is 1s2 2s1. Li is a silvery white metal. Its atomic weight is 6.941 u. Li readily oxidizes to lithium oxide on exposure to air. It is the lightest among metals and has a high specific heat capacity. Lithium is primarily used in making lithium-ion batteries.

This article aims at explaining the electron configuration of lithium and the orbital diagram of ground-state lithium.

How to write Lithium Electron Configuration

The Li atom consists of 3 electrons. Following Aufbau’s principle, electrons will be filled in order of their increasing energies. After that according to Hund’s rule, the pairing of electrons takes place in opposite directions as per the Pauli exclusion principle.

Lithium Electron Configuration Diagram

The lithium atom contains 13 electrons. The electronic configuration of the lithium is expressed in the form of the diagram as given below –

  • 1s orbital having minimum energy is filled first, with a maximum capacity of two electrons.
  • After the 1s orbital, the 2s orbital is filled with one electron only.

So, the diagram will be-

Lithium Electron Configuration Diagram

Lithium Electron Configuration Notation

The electronic configuration notation of lithium is [He] 2s1.

Lithium Unabbreviated Electron Configuration

The lithium unabbreviated electron configuration is 1s2 2s1 . Li consists of a total of 3 electrons which are filled as follows –

  • Two electrons are present in 1s orbital.
  • One electron is in a 2s orbital.

Ground State Lithium Electron Configuration

The ground state electron configuration of lithium is 1s2 2s1.

Excited State of Lithium Electron Configuration

The excited state electron configuration of lithium is 1s2 2p1. In the excited state, the electron in the 2s orbital of Li jumps to a vacant 2p orbital of higher energy.

Excited State Electron Configuration of Lithium

Ground State Lithium Orbital Diagram

The ground state orbital diagram of lithium shows the filling up of electrons in the shells around the lithium nucleus. The orbital diagram of lithium is –

Ground State Lithium Orbital Diagram

Lithium Oxide Electron Configuration

The lithium oxide (Li2O) electron configuration is as follows-

  • The electronic configuration of Li1+ is 1s2.
  • The electronic configuration of O2- is 1s22s22p6.

Li with one valence electron readily loses it to form a stable Li+ ion. Oxygen with 6 valence electrons readily gains 2 electrons to form a stable O2- ion.


Lithium shares a diagonal relationship with the alkaline earth metal Magnesium. It has a bcc crystal structure. Among neutral Li and Li-ion, the latter is more stable due to fully filled outermost shell.

Read more about following configurations:

Mercury Electronic
Plutonium Electron
Americium Electron
Neptunium Electron
Meitnerium Electron
Strontium Electron
Cadmium Electron
Bismuth Electron
Molybdenum Electron
Cobalt Electron
Lead Electron
Nitrogen Electron
Oxygen Electron
Seaborgium Electron
Tellurium Electron
Thallium Electron
Europium Electron
Praseodymium Electron
Einsteinium Electron
Helium Electron
Nickel Electron
Nobelium Electron
Gadolinium Electron
Titanium Electron
Hafnium Electron
Holmium Electron
Iridium Electron
Dysprosium Electron
Calcium Electron

Vishnupriya Tadury

Hi Everyone. I am Vishnupriya T. I have pursued a Master's in Chemistry and a PG Diploma in Quality Management. Currently working as an SME in Chemistry, aiming to enrich my curiosity and knowledge. I would love to share knowledge and connect with others at my LinkedIn profile:

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