# What is the electron configuration representing an atom of aluminum in an excited state?

Feb 15, 2017

An example of the electron configuration of aluminum in an excited state is ${\text{1s"^2 "2s"^2 "2p"^6 "3s"^1 "3p}}^{2}$.

#### Explanation:

There are an infinite number of possible excited states for the valence electrons of aluminum, depending on how much energy the electrons have absorbed.

The ground state of aluminum is ${\text{1s"^2 "2s"^2 "2p"^6 "3s"^2 "3p}}^{1}$

In the ground state the $\text{3s}$ electrons are unable to form bonds. They must absorb energy to move to a higher energy state so that the electrons can be used to form bonds.

What happens is that the atom will promote a $\text{3s}$ electron to the empty $\text{3p}$ orbital, forming an excited state.

The atom can then form 3 ${\text{sp}}^{2}$ hybrid orbitals to form three bonds to other atoms.

This enables aluminum to achieve a more stable electron configuration like that of neon.