What is the s,p,d,f configuration of Co?

2 Answers

The s,p,d,f configuration for cobalt (Co) is #1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 3d^7#, determined by the position of the element on the periodic table.

Cobalt is an inner transition metal which means the electron configuration will end in a d block. Cobalt is in the 7th column of the d block and therefore has 7 d electrons #d^7#. The element cobalt can be found in the 4th row or 4th energy level of the periodic table. However, the inner transition metals or d block are always one level lower than the energy level that the element is found on meaning the electron configuration for cobalt must end as #3d^7#.

All electron levels must be filled above that point. So the entire configuration is as follows:
#1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 3d^7#

As another example, Argon is a noble gas and has each of the electron levels filled. Using Noble Gas Notation you can write the s,p,d,f configuration in an abbreviated form.

[Ar] can represent #1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 #

Making the configuration:
[Ar] #4s^2 3d^7#

Here is a You Tube video on determining electron configurations:

Nov 14, 2015




There are certain rules which govern electronic configuration. One of them is Aufbau Principle. According to this rule 'the electrons are first filled in that subshells which has less value of (n+l) and if two orbitals have same (n+l) value then lower 'n' value orbital will be filled up first.