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

1 Answer
May 16, 2017

Here's how I do it.

Explanation:

Since ${\text{O}}_{2}$ is a molecule, we must write its electron configuration using molecular orbitals.

I assume that you already know how to draw a molecular orbital digram like the one below.

Note: The diagram above omits the σ_text(1s) and the σ_text(1s*) orbitals.

To write the electron configuration of the molecule, we just give the number of electrons in each orbital:

(σ_text(1s))^2 (σ_text(1s)"*")^2 (σ_text(2s))^2 (σ_text(2s)"*")^2 (σ_text(2pz))^2 (π_text(2px))^2 (π_text(2py))^2 (π_text(2px)"*")(π_text(2py)"*")