What is the bond order of carbon monoxide?

1 Answer
Nov 24, 2016

Probably 3.


Most Lewis descriptions of carbon monoxide feature a triple bond with formal charge separation of the carbon and oxygen nuclei. There are #6+4=10# valence electrons, and these give a #""^(+):O-=C:^(-)# Lewis structure. Such a representation rationalizes the coordination of carbon (and not oxygen) to a metal centre.

Around oxygen, there are 7 electrons and hence a positive charge; around carbon there are 7 electrons, and hence the formal negative charge. A Lewis structure of #\mathbf( :stackrel(..)"O"=C:# can also be advanced as a representation of electronic structure.