# How do atoms achieve stability in single covalent bonds?

Aug 5, 2016

Atoms achieve stability in a single covalent bond by sharing valence electrons to create filled electron shells which are stable.

#### Explanation:

"Co-" means to share. Valence electrons are the outermost electrons in an atom. By sharing the valence electrons, atoms can achieve a filled valence shell which is stable.

Examples:

• Neon has eight valence electrons in its outer shell. Neon is a very stable atom. Neon is part of family called the Noble gases because of their stability these atoms rarely interact with other atoms.
• Oxygen has six valence electrons in its outer shell. Eight electrons are needed to fill the second level to achieve stability. So oxygen needs two more electrons to be stable.
• Hydrogen has one electron in its outer shell, so two electrons are all that are needed in the first period (see helium, number two, a noble gas). Hydrogen needs one more electron to be stable.
• Two hydrogen atoms each share their electron with oxygen, giving oxygen a total of eight electrons, creating a filled shell for oxygen.

The oxygen in turn shares one of its valence electrons with each of the two hydrogens in $\setminus m a t h b f \left(\text{H"_2"O}\right)$ (water), providing each hydrogen with a filled shell. By sharing all the atoms are filled and "happy", like neon and helium.