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Question

# How do I write the electron configuration of an oxygen molecule?

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Solution

## Aufbau PrincipleAufabu principle determines the shell, subshell, and orbital in which the incoming electrons are to be filled according to their energy levels.The preference for the filling up of electrons according to their energy levels is: $1s,2s,2p,3s,3p,4s,3d,4p,5s,4d,5p,6s,4f,5d,6p,7s,5f,6d,7p,8s$However, molecular orbital theory describes the electronic configuration of molecular species such as oxygen molecule. The electronic configuration for a molecule containing 16 or more than 16 electrons according to MOT is given by: $\sigma 1s,{\sigma }^{*}1s,\sigma 2s,{\sigma }^{*}2s,\sigma 2{p}_{z},\pi 2{p}_{x}=\pi 2{p}_{y},{\pi }^{*}2{p}_{x}={\pi }^{*}2{p}_{y},{\sigma }^{*}2{p}_{z}$Electronic configuration of oxygen molecule: Oxygen molecule has 16 electrons, so the electronic configuration of oxygen molecule becomes: $\sigma 1{s}^{2},{\sigma }^{*}1{s}^{2},\sigma 2{s}^{2},{\sigma }^{*}2{s}^{2},\sigma 2{p}_{z}^{2},\pi 2{p}_{x}^{2}=\pi 2{p}_{y}^{2},{\pi }^{*}2{p}_{x}^{1}={\pi }^{*}2{p}_{y}^{1},$

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