# How many pi bonds can the atom form?

Feb 27, 2017

Assuming the discussion is restricted to organic chemistry and we are talking about carbon, two pi bonds are possible.

#### Explanation:

Consider the triple bond in Ethyne

Carbon has four valence electrons so in order to make 4 bonds, it must hybridize its orbitals to make that possible. In this case, Carbon takes on an $s p$ hybrid configuration in which one electron goes into each $s p$ hybrid orbital and the other two each go into the unhybridized $p$ orbitals.

The electrons in each carbon's $s p$ orbital that face one another participate in a tight sigma bond. The electrons in the unhybridized $p$ orbitals form a pi bond like a bridge.

Consider also $C {O}_{2}$

Carbon has the same $s p$ hybridization here where the two $s p$ orbitals participate in sigma bonds with the oxygen while each unhybridized $p$ orbital forms a double bond with the adjacent oxygen.

While a quadruple bond is possible for coordination compounds with transition metals, here is no hybridization scheme that allows for a quadruple bond to form between two atoms in organic chemistry.