Nickel Electron Configuration: 9 Facts You Should Know!

An electron configuration helps us to understand the exact arrangement of electrons in its orbitals. Let us study for the Nickel element.

The Nickel electronic configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d8 and its atomic number is 28. So there are 28 electrons and protons present in it. It is placed in d block of elements in the periodic table and has quite a high temperature for melting and boiling points.

We can easily describe the electron configuration of Nickel by following certain laws and representations, which have been discussed below in the following sections.

How to write Nickel electron configuration?

The steps for writing the electron configuration of Ni have been discussed below:

  • The criteria for writing electron configuration is obeying the three rules: Aufbau Principle, Pauli’s exclusion principle and the Hund’s rule.
  • The first step is finding out the number of electron shells. In Nickel, there are 4 shells as it belongs to the period 4 of the periodic table.
  • The next step includes determining the number of orbitals based on the atomic number (s, p, d and f).
  • For Nickel, there are s, p and d orbitals only.
  • There are 2 electrons in the first shell, 8 in the second, 16 in the third shell and 2 electrons in the fourth shell.
  • So we can represent the electron configuration of Nickel in the following way:
  • 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d8

Nickel Electron Configuration Diagram

We can represent the diagram for Nickel electron configuration by following the Aufbau method. So, according to the principle of Aufbau, the atomic orbitals of lower energy are filled first followed by the filling of higher energy ones. The following diagram gives a better overview.

Electron Configuration

Nickel Electron Configuration Notation

  • The notation for Nickel electron configuration is [Ar] 3d8 4s2.
  • The above notation depicts that there are 8 electrons in the 3rd shell of the d orbital of the Nickel element.
  • In the 4th shell, there are 2 electrons in the s orbital.
  • The shell number is represented by general numbers and orbitals by s, p, d and f notations.
  • The subscripts indicate the number of electrons.

Nickel unabbreviated  electron configuration

The unabbreviated electron configuration of Nickel is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d8. Here all the shells and orbitals are represented in a systematic manner. It is also the ground state electron configuration of Nickel.

Ground state Nickel Electron Configuration

The ground state Nickel Electron Configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d8 .

Excited state of Nickel Electron Configuration

  • The electron configuration of Nickel at an excited state is  [Ar] 3d8 4s1 4px1.
  • When the atom is excited, it absorbs energy, and the electron jumps to a higher orbital. In this case, the electron from s will jump to the p orbital.
  • We know that p orbital has px, py and pz. Each of these has the capacity to hold two electrons.
  • Hence the electron from 4s jumps to px orbital.

Ground state Nickel orbital diagram

The orbital diagram (ground state) is based on the Pauli’s Exclusion principle and Hund’s rule.

Orbital Diagram

The first electron enters in a clockwise manner, and the next enters in an anti-clockwise manner (Hund’s Principle)

Nickel2+ electron configuration

The electron configuration of Ni+2 is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d8. In the ionic form (+2), the Nickel gives away two electrons belonging to the 4s orbital.

Nickel3+ electron configuration

The electron configuration of Nickel3+ is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d7. In the +3 state, Nickel gives away 2 electrons from the 4s orbital and 1 electron from the 3d orbital.


The Nickel element has 28 electrons, and there are 4 electronic shells in its electronic configuration. There is slight variation in the electron configuration of Nickel in various ionic forms.

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