Question #4cd90

1 Answer
Jan 13, 2018

It will probably dissociate into two #O_2# molecules. In fact there have been many failed attempts to make #O_4#.


#O_4# is called tetraoxygen, which was first predicted back in 1924 by Gilbert Lewis. There are no forms of stable #O_4# molecules except possibly under extremely high pressure.

The basic problem is that with 6 electrons in the valence shell of each O atom, it's difficult to get enough overlap between singly-occupied p orbitals to form the O-O bonds without the energy being overcome by repulsive interactions of the non-bonding electrons.