What is the formal charge on each atom in the methyl carbocation?

1 Answer
Mar 13, 2018

Answer:

In #H_3C^+#, the which is a formal CATION?

Explanation:

Each hydrogen atom is formally neutral....they gets ONE electron from each covalent bond...the carbon also gets ONE electron from each covalent bond, and has two inner core electrons, formally the #1s^2#...and so carbon has 5 electronic charges...but NECESSARILY 6 positive, nucular charges... And thus the FORMAL charge is #+1#

Just to add that for the purposes of assigning formal charge, we can go back to very old ideas that we learn when are introduced to bonding. In a covalent bond, electrons ARE SHARED between nuclei. An ionic bond is between a formal anion, and a formal cation, and thus involves the prior TRANSFER of electron.

If we take say methane, with FOUR #C-H# covalent bonds, we split this up to give #4xxdotH#, and a carbon atom with 4 valence electrons. The hydrogen ATOMS are neutral, because they have a positive nuclear charge, and also an electronic charge. And hence the hydrogens are neutral.

Likewise, the carbon atom claims 4 electrons from the four #C-H# bonds, and has 2 inner core electrons (i.e. formally the #1s^2# electrons. And so each carbon has 6 electrons, and there are 6 positive nuclear charges. The carbon atom in methane is also thus electronically neutral.