# How many bonds can carbon make?

May 3, 2017

Carbon can form either 2 or 4 bonds.

#### Explanation:

The ground state electron configuration is $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{2}$

In this ground state Carbon has 2 unpaired p electrons which can form 2 bonds.

An example of this is CO carbon monoxide.
..
: C = O: This leaves Carbon with six electrons in its outer shell.

eight electrons is a more stable structure so CO is not a stable structure.

Carbon generally forms hybrid orbitals $s {p}^{3}$ which allows Carbon to form 4 bonds

An example of this is $C {O}_{2}$ Carbon dioxide.

O:C:O This leaves Carbon with eight electrons in its outer shell

Eight electrons is a more stable structure.

Carbon forms 2 and 4 bonds.