Covalent Bonding In Carbon

As we know an element can gain or lose electrons in order to attain their nearest noble gas configuration. This helps them in attaining stability. The following table shows the element, their valence electrons and how they can achieve their nearest noble gas configuration:

Element Electronic Configuration

(number in red denotes valence electron)

 

How the elements become stable?
(Last shell should have 8 electrons as per Octet rule)
Na(11)

(Sodium)

2,8, 1 Lose 1 electron to attain their nearest noble gas configuration and so become stable.

 

Al(13)

(Alumunium)

2,8, 3 Lose 3 electrons to attain their nearest noble gas configuration of neon and so become stable.

 

P(15)

(Phosphorus)

2,8, 5 Gain 3 electrons to attain their nearest noble gas configuration of neon and so become stable
Cl(17)

(Chlorine)

2,8, 7 Gain 1 electron to attain their nearest noble gas configuration and so become stable of Neon.

 

C(6) 2, 4 Gain or lose 4 electrons to attain their nearest noble gas configuration of Helium.

(NOT POSSIBLE)

 

According to the table, carbon needs to gain or lose 4 electrons to become stable, which seems impossible as:

  1. Carbon cannot gain 4 electrons to become C4-, because it will be tough for 6 protons to hold 10 electrons and so the atom will become unstable.
  2. Carbon cannot lose 4 electrons to become C4+ because it would require large amount of energy to remove out 4 electrons and also the C4+ would have only 2
    electrons held by proton, which will again become unstable
Covalent Bonding

Covalent Bonding in Carbon

 

 

Carbon cannot gain or donate electron, so to complete its nearest noble gas configuration, it shares electron to form covalent bond. Covalent bond is formed by equal sharing of electrons from both the participating atoms. Covalent bond is of three types:

  1. Single bond- When only one pair of electron is shared between the two participating atoms, then single bond is formed.
  2. Double bond- When two pairs of electrons are shared between the two participating atoms, then double bond is formed.
  3. Triple bond- When three pairs of electrons are shared between the two participating atoms, then triple bond is formed.

The shared pairs of electrons belong to the outer shells of both the atoms. This helps both the atoms in attaining their nearest noble gas configuration.

For more information about carbon and its bonding, download Byju’s-The learning app from play store and app store.

 


Practise This Question

If an atom is sharing its 8 valence electrons with another atom, then: