# What VSEPR shape is CO_2?

May 12, 2016

We have $4 + 2 \times 6 = 16 \text{ valence electrons}$ to distribute over 3 centres. Carbon is considered to be the central atom (this is typical in VESPER; the least electronegative element is considered to be the cental atom).
For $O = C = O$ there are thus 2 lone pairs associated with each oxygen centre. There are 4 electrons associated with the central carbon. Each element is therefore neutral. Given that there are 2 regions of electron density around $C$, the molecule is linear, i.e. $\angle O - C - O = {180}^{\circ}$.