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chahat hameed Grade: 12th Pass

why carbon does not have vacant d orbital?

5 years ago

Answers : (1)

Aman Bansal
592 Points

Dear Chahat

The answer is simple if you understand the shell formulae: 1s, 2s,2p... etc If we write out the electronic configuration for carbon, we have: 1s2, 2s2, 2p2. The p orbital can accommodate a total of 6 electrons. So as we can see, only 4 electrons that can occupy the p orbital are left. HOWEVER, there does exist elements in the same group (group IV) such as silicon that can have more than one oxidation state, including those being higher than 4. This is because electron promotion to low-lying d-orbitals is possible. Carbon incidentally, does not have any available d-orbitals of low energy. So electron promotion from the 2s level (where pairing occurs) cannot possibly take place. Hence, maximum OS for carbon is 4 :)

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Aman Bansal

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5 years ago
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