Drawing the Lewis Structure for CO (Carbon monoxide)

Viewing Notes:

  • CO is a clear, odorless, poisonous gas. It can be formed by combustion in oxygen poor environments and leads to a number of human deaths each year.
  • In the CO Lewis structure there aren't enough valence electrons available for each atom to obtain an octet without sharing more than one pair. Therefore CO has a triple bond between the carbon and oxygen atom.
  • For the CO Lewis structure there are a total of 10 valence electrons available.

Transcript: This is the CO Lewis structure: Carbon monoxide. We have 4 valence electrons for Carbon and 6 for Oxygen, for a total of 10 valence electrons. So we have a Carbon and an Oxygen atom bonded together. We'll put 2 electrons between the atoms to form a chemical bond, that's 2; and then around the outer atoms, that's 4, 6, 8, and 10.

So we've used all our valence electrons. We can see Oxygen has 8 valence electrons, so it has an octet. But the Carbon only has 4 valence electrons. Let's take these two from Oxygen and share them with the Carbon. That forms a double bond. The Oxygen still has 8, but now the Carbon has 6.

So we're getting close. We'll move two more of these valence electrons to form a triple bond between the Carbon and the Oxygen. Now the Oxygen has 8, but the Carbon has 8 as well. So by now we've used all the valence electrons, all 10, and each of the atoms in the Lewis structure for CO has a full outer shell--has an octet, with 8 valence electrons.

So that's the Lewis structure for CO, carbon monoxide. This is Dr. B., and thanks for watching.