Tellurium Electron Configuration: 9 Facts You Should Know!

Tellurium is a rare, silvery-white, and brittle metalloid with a molar mass of 127.6 g/mol. Let us discuss some facts related to the electron configuration of Te.

The electron configuration of Te is [Kr] 4d105s25p4 with the atomic number of 52. It is also known as a p-block element due to having a partially filled 5p orbital. It is placed in group 16 (group of chalcogen elements) and 5th period in the periodic table beside antimony (Sb).

This article explores the electron configuration of Te in the ground state, and the excited state as well as the notation, abbreviated electron configuration in detail.

How to write tellurium electron configuration?

To write the electron configuration of Te the following steps should be followed.

  • Tellurium has a total of 52 electrons in its 5 electronic shells named as K, L, M, N, and O which can be further classified into different orbitals like s, p, d, and f.
  • These electrons start filling in those 5 shells from lower energy to higher energy order by applying the Aufbau principle, Hund’s multiplicity rule, and Pauli’s exclusion principle.
  • s, p, d, and f have the maximum capacity to accommodate the electrons of 2, 6, 10, and 14 respectively.
  • Those 52 electrons will start entering these orbitals. The first 2 electrons enter into the 1s orbital of the K shell.
  • The next 8 electrons will be filled in the 2s and 2p orbitals of the L shell (next energy state after K). After filling the L shell, the next 18 electrons will be placed into the 3s, 3p, and 3d orbitals of the M shell.
  • The next 18 electrons will enter into the 4s, 4p, and 4d orbitals of the N shell and the rest of the 6 electrons will be placed into the 5s and 5p orbital of the O shell.
  • These electrons are written as the superscripts before the orbitals like 1s2 2s2 etc.
  • Therefore, the final electron configuration of Te is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p4.

Tellurium Electron Configuration Diagram

The electron configuration diagram of Te is decided by the Aufbau principle. This rule determines the increasing order of the energy of the orbitals. Therefore, the order of filling the orbitals with electrons will be 1s < 2s <2p < 3s < 3p< 4s <4p < 3d < 5s < 4d < 5p based on the n+l rule.

tellurium electron configuration
Aufbau principle in Tellurium

Tellurium Electron Configuration Notation

The electron configuration notation of Te is [Kr] 4d105s25p4.

  • In the above notation, [Kr] indicates the electron configuration of the noble gas krypton which has 36 electrons.
  • s, p, and d are the orbitals having the l value of 0, 1, and 2 respectively.
  • The integers before s and p indicate the principal quantum number or energy states.
  • The superscripts denote the number of electrons present in those orbitals.

Tellurium Unabbreviated Electron Configuration

The unabbreviated electron configuration of Te is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p4. In the abbreviated form of the electron configuration of Te, the first 36 electrons are written as the electron configuration of its nearest noble gas, Kr.

Ground State Tellurium Electron Configuration

The ground state electron configuration of Te is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p4 or [Kr] 4d105s25p4. This configuration indicates that there is no transition of electrons from lower energy level to higher energy level.

Tellurium ground state electron configuration

Excited State of Tellurium Electron Configuration

The excited state electron configuration of Te is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 5s1 5p5. In this excited state or energized state, one electron from the 5s orbital is transferred to the slightly higher energy level, 5p.

Tellurium excited state electron configuration

Ground State Tellurium Orbital Diagram

The ground state orbital diagram of Te denotes the method of entering the 52 electrons in the electronic shells (K, L, M, N, and O) around the nucleus.

  • K and L orbital can accommodate 2 and 8 electrons in themselves.
  • M and N orbital can place 18 electrons in themselves because they have the maximum capacity of placing 18 electrons.
  • The rest of the 6 electrons will enter into the O orbital.
Tellurium Orbital Diagram

Tellurium 2- Electron Configuration

The electron configuration of Te2- is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p6. Te2- has 54 electrons and it is greater than the neutral Te by 2. These extra 2 electrons are placed in the 5p orbital of Te. After placing in 5p, Te gets the stabilization of fulfilled electron configuration of the 5p orbital.

Tellurium Condensed Electron Configuration

The condensed electron configuration of Te is [Kr] 4d105s25p4.


Electron configuration determines the relative arrangement of the electrons of any atom which helps to detect the position of the atom in the periodic table. It also predicts the physical as well as the chemical properties of the atom.

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