What is the octet rule of carbon?

1 Answer
Feb 8, 2014

The octet rule is the understanding that most atoms seek to gain stability in their outer most energy level by filling the s and p orbitals of the highest energy level with eight electrons.

Carbon has an electron configuration of #1s^2 2s^2 2p^2# this means that carbon has four valence electrons #2s^2 2p^4#. Carbon seeks out four additional electrons to fill the p orbital and gain the stability of a noble gas, #1s^2 2s^2 2p^6#.

However, now carbon has 10 electrons and only 6 protons making it a -4 charge anion #C^(-4)#.

Although, carbon can also lose four electrons and become stable at #1s^2# and become #C^(+4)#.

I hope this was helpful.