# What is an electron configuration of a nitrogen molecule?

Aug 24, 2016

The electron configuration of ${\text{N}}_{2}$ is
(σ1s)^2(σ^"∗"1s)^2(σ2s)^2(σ^"∗"2s)^2(π2p_x)^2(π2p_y)^2(σ2p_z)^2

#### Explanation:

The molecular orbitals of ${\text{N}}_{2}$ are formed by overlapping the atomic orbitals of the $\text{N}$ atoms.

The new molecular orbitals are formed as follows:

• The $1 s$ orbitals form a bonding σ1s and an antibonding σ"*"1s MO.
• The $2 s$ orbitals form a bonding σ2s and an antibonding σ"*"2s MO.
• The $2 p$ orbitals directed along the internuclear axis form a bonding σ2p_z and an antibonding σ"*"2p_z MO.
• The $2 {p}_{x}$ and $2 {p}_{y}$ orbitals from each atom form bonding π2p_x and π2p_y bonding MOs and antibonding π"*"2p_x and π"*"2p_y MO.

The relative energy levels of the orbitals are Each $\text{N}$ atom contributes seven electrons, so we use the Aufbau Principle to fill the MOs starting at the lowest level.

The result is Thus, the electron configuration of ${\text{N}}_{2}$ is

(σ1s)^2(σ^"∗"1s)^2(σ2s)^2(σ^"∗"2s)^2(π2p_x)^2(π2p_y)^2(σ2p_x)^2