Science, Tech, Math › Science Pnictogen Definition Chemistry Glossary Definition of Pnictogen Share Flipboard Email Print Pnictogens are members of the nitrogen group of elements. Todd Helmenstine Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated July 24, 2017 A pnictogen is a member of the nitrogen group of elements, Group 15 of the periodic table (formerly numbered as Group V or Group VA). This group consists of nitrogen, phosphorus, arsenic, antimony, bismuth, and ununpentium. The pnictogens are noted for their ability to form stable compounds, thanks to their tendency to form double and triple covalent bonds. The pnictogens are solids at room temperature, except for nitrogen, which is a gas. The defining characteristic of pnictogens is that atoms of these elements have 5 electrons in their outer electron shell. There are 2 paired electrons in the s subshell and 3 unpaired electrons in the p subshell, putting these elements 3 electrons shy of filling the outermost shell. Binary compounds from this group are termed pnictides.