How bond order is calculated and why co+ has bond order 3.5?

Bond order=1/2(bonding−anti-bonding)

According to molecular orbital diagram, the bond order of CO+ is 3.5

The highest occupied molecular orbital is sigma*2s MO

In the case oc CO, the 2s atomic orbital on oxygen is much lower than the energy than the 2s atomic orbital of carbon

This discrepancy of energy allows the pi2px & pi2py BMO to lower the energy than sigma*2sMO in the MO diagram of CO

Bond order of CO+ = 1/2 [Nb – Na]

= 1/2 [10 – 3 ]

= 3.5

This is according to Molecular Bond Diagram


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