What is the maximum number of covalent bonds?

1 Answer
Sep 1, 2016

The maximum covalent bonds in a molecule or ion is seven.


Covalent bonds use only the valance electrons Generally the maximum number of valance electrons available for covalent bonds is seven. This is the number in the halide family of Florine group 7A.

However sometimes Noble gases group 8A that have 8 valance electrons and can form 8 covalent bonds. Noble gases rarely form bonds because they are very inactive due to their electro negativity of almost zero.

Metallic elements in groups B can have more than seven valance electrons such as copper that has a possibility of 11 valance electrons 2 4 s and 9 3 d . However metallic elements tend to form ionic bonds not covalent bonds.

# ClO_4^-1 # is an example of an ion with 7 covalent bonds. Cl has seven valance electrons that it shares with four oxygen atoms. Each Oxygen atom can form two covalent bonds. So three oxygens atoms form two bonds and the fourth only 1 bond resulting in the negative 1 charge on the ion. The ion forms a resonance structure so it is impossible to tell which Oxygen atom is missing an electron.