# Electron Configuration of Carbon and Full Orbital Diagram

Electron configuration of carbon is 1s2 2s2 2p2. The electron configuration of carbon shows that carbon is an p-block element. The valency of carbon are 2,4 and valence electrons of carbon is 4.

This article gives an idea about the electron configuration of carbon, the period and groups of carbon, the valency and valence electrons of carbon, bond formation, compound formation, application of different principles.

The nucleus is located in the center of the atom. And, protons and neutrons are located in the nucleus. The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom is the atomic number. The electrons revolve around the atom.

This number of electrons is equal to the number of protons and atoms. Electrons are arranged in the orbits of the atom at certain distances and certain rules around the atom.

The arrangement of electrons in different orbits and orbitals of an atom in a certain order is called electron configuration. The electron configuration of 118 elements of the periodic table can be done in 2 ways. One of the 118 elements in the periodic table is the carbon element. That is, the electron configuration of carbon atoms can be done in 2 ways.

1. Electron configuration via orbit.
2. Electron configuration via orbital.

Electron configuration through orbitals follows different principles. For example, the Aufbau principle, Hund’s principle, Pauli’s exclusion principle.

## Electron configuration of Carbon through orbit

Scientist Niels Bohr was the first to give an idea of the orbit of the atom. In 1913, scientist Bohr proposed a policy regarding the orbit of the atom. There, he said, the electrons of the atom continue to rotate in a certain circular path.

The electrons of an atom revolve in circular paths at certain rules and distances, these circular paths are called orbits. And, the method of arranging electrons in these circular orbits is called the method of electron configuration through orbits. Orbits are expressed by n. [n = 1,2,3,4 . . .]

K is the name of the first orbit, L is the second, M is the third, N is the name of the fourth orbit. The electron holding capacity of each orbit is 2n2. [ n = 1,2 3,4 …..].

Now,

• n = 1 for K orbit.
The electron holding capacity of K orbit is 2n2 = 2 × 12 = 2 electrons.
• For L orbit, n = 2.
The electron holding capacity of the L orbit is 2n2 = 2 × 22 = 8 electrons.
• n=3 for M orbit.
The maximum electron holding capacity in M orbit is 2n2 = 2 × 3= 18 electrons.
• n=4 for N orbit.
The maximum electron holding capacity in N orbit is 2n2 = 2 × 32 = 32 electrons.

The atomic number of carbon(C) atoms is 6. We know that the atomic number of an element is the number of electrons in that element. That is, the number of electrons in a carbon atom is 6.

Therefore, the maximum electron holding capacity in the first orbit is 2. The maximum electron holding capacity in the second orbit 8. And the 3rd orbit can have a maximum of 18 electrons. We know that the total number of electrons in a carbon atom is 6.

Therefore, the carbon atom will have 2 electrons in the first orbit and 4 in the 2nd orbit. Therefore, the order of electron configuration of carbon atoms is 2, 4. Carbon has electrons per shell 2, 4.

## The electron configuration of Carbon atom through orbital

Atomic energy levels are subdivided into sub-energy levels. These sub-energy levels are called orbital. The sub energy levels are expressed by ‘l’. The value of ‘l’ is from 0 to (n – 1). The sub-energy levels are known as s, p, d, f.

Determining the value of ‘l’ for different energy levels is-

If n = 1,
(n – 1) = (1–1) = 0
Therefore, the orbital number of ‘l’ is 1; And the orbital is 1 s.

If n = 2,
(n – 1) = (2–1) = 1.
Therefore, the orbital number of ‘l’ is 2; And the orbital is 2s, 2p.

If n = 3,
(n – 1) = (3–1) = 2.
Therefore, the orbital number of ‘l’ is 3; And the orbital is 3s, 3p, 3d.

If n = 4,
(n – 1) = (4–1) = 3
Therefore, the orbital number of ‘l’ is 4; And the orbital is 4s, 4p, 4d, 4f.

If n = 5,
(n – 1) = (n – 5) = 4.

Therefore, l = 0,1,2,3,4. The number of orbitals will be 5 but 4s, 4p, 4d, 4f in these four orbitals it is possible to arrange the electrons of all the elements of the periodic table. The electron holding capacity of these orbitals is s = 2, p = 6, d = 10 and f = 14.

### Carbon electron configuration in the Aufbau principle

The German physicist Aufbau first proposed the idea of electron configuration through sub-orbits. The Aufbau method is to do electron configuration through the sub-energy level. These sub-orbitals are expressed by ‘l’.

The Aufbau principle is that the electrons present in the atom will first complete the lowest energy orbital and then gradually continue to complete the higher energy orbital. These orbitals are named s, p, d, f. The electron holding capacity of these orbitals is s = 2, p = 6, d = 10 and f = 14.

The Aufbau electron configuration method is 1 s 2s 2p 3s 3p 4s 3d 4p 5s 4d 5p 6s 4f 5d 6p 7s 5f 6d. The carbon electron configuration in the Aufbau principle is 1s2 2s2 2p2.

### Electron configuration of Carbon in the Hund principle

Another method of electron configuration is the Hund principle. The German physicist Friedrich Hund provided a guideline for the entry of electrons into different orbitals of equal power. Which is known as the Hund principle.

The Hund principle is that when electrons enter the orbitals of equal power, the electrons will randomly enter the orbital as long as the orbital is empty. And the spin of these unpaired electrons will be one-sided. This principle applies to- p, d, f orbitals. The s-orbital does not support the Hund principle.

Normally carbon electron configuration is C(6) = 1s2 2s2 2p2. And in Hund’s principle, the electron configuration of carbon is 1s2 2s2 2px1 2py1. The electron configuration of carbon in excited state is C*(6) = 1s2 2s2 2px1 2py1.

The last orbital of carbon is p. And unpaired electrons exist in its last p-orbital. So. The carbon atom supports Hund principle.

## Determination of group and period through the carbon electron configuration

The carbon electron configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p2. The last orbit of an element is the period of that element. The electron configuration of carbon atom shows that the last orbit of the carbon atom is 2(2s2 2p2). So, the period of carbon is 2.

On the other hand, the number of electrons present in the last orbit of an element is the number of groups in that element. But in the case of p-block elements, group diagnosis is different. To determine the group of p-block elements, the group has to be determined by adding 10 to the total number of electrons in the last orbit.

The total number of electrons in the last orbit of the carbon atom is 4. That is, the group number of carbon is 4 + 10 = 14. Therefore, we can say that the period of the carbon element is 2 and the group is 14.

## Determination of the valency and valence electrons of carbon

The ability of one atom of an element to join another atom during the formation of a molecule is called valency(valence) . The number of unpaired electrons in the last orbit of an element is the valency(valence) of that element. As we know, the electron configuration of carbon atom is normally 1s2 2s2 2p2.

Valence(valency) is determined from the electron configuration of the element in the excited state. The electron configuration of carbon in excited state is C*(6) = 1s2 2s2 2px1 2py1. Here, the electron configuration of carbon shows that 2 unpaired electrons exist. In this case, the valency of the carbon atom is 2.

When the carbon atom is excited more than this, the electron configuration of carbon changes again. The 2nd electron configuration of a carbon atom in excited state is C*(6) = 1s2 2s1 2px1 2py1 2pz1. Here, 4 unpaired electrons exist in the carbon atom. So, in this case, the valency (valence) of the carbon atom is 4.

The last electron configuration of carbon(C) implies that the maximum unpaired number of electrons in a carbon atom is 4. Therefore, the valence of a carbon atom is 4. Therefore, the valency (valence) of carbon atoms is 2, 4.

Again, the number of electrons in the last orbit of an element, the number of those electrons is the valence electrons of that element. In the electron configuration for carbon, we see that 4 electrons exist in the last orbit of the carbon.

Therefore, the valence electrons of the carbon are 4. Finally, we can say that the valency (valence) of the carbon is 2, 4, and the valence electrons of the carbon are 4.

## Determining the block of carbon by electron configuration

The elements in the periodic table are divided into 4 blocks based on the electron configuration of the element. The block of elements is determined based on the electron configuration of the element. If the last electron enters the p-orbital after the electron configuration of the element, then that element is called the p-block element.

The carbon electron configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p2. The electron configuration of carbon(C) shows that the last electron of carbon enters the p-orbital. Therefore, carbon is the p-block element.

## Activation sequence of carbon atoms

The elements of group-14 are relatively less active. However, the activity of the element increases as it moves from the top to the bottom of the group. Carbon is the first element of group-14. Carbon is the number one element in group-14. For this, the activation of carbon atoms is very low.

## Ionic properties of carbon atoms

Carbon is an anion element. When a charge-neutral atom receives an electron and turns it into a negative ion, it is called an anion. The last orbit of a carbon atom has 4 electrons. The carbon atom first takes two electrons and then two more electrons to fill the octave and become an anion.

C + (2e) → C2–

C2– + (2e) → C4–

Carbon atoms take on electrons and turn into negative ions. Therefore, carbon is an anion element.

## Reaction structure of carbon atoms

The carbon atom reacts with the oxygen atom to form oxide compounds.

C + O2 → CO

C + O2 → CO2

In general, the oxides of elements with higher oxidation values are more acidic than the oxides of elements with lower oxidation values. CO is a neutral oxide, but CO2 is an acidic oxide.

CO2 + 2NaOH → Na2CO3 + H2O

CO2 behaves like an acidic oxide.

2C + O2 → 2CO

Here, CO reveals the behavior of the neutral oxide.

The element carbon of group-14 reacts with water to produce [CO + H2] water gas.

C + H2O (1300 C) → [CO + H2]

Carbon atoms react with halogen to form tetrahalide compounds.

• C + 2F2 → CF4
• C + 2Cl2 → CCl4
• C + 2Br2→ CBr4
• C + 2I2 → CI4

The carbon atom reacts with hydrogen to produce methane gas.

C + 2H2 → CH4

## Humid analyzed of carbon halide

The halide compounds of the 14th group elements, especially the humid analyzed chloride, are of a slightly different nature. In the case of humid analysis, the empty d-orbital of the atom plays a major role.

The second period and 14-group element is a carbon(C). No d-orbital is present at the valence level of the carbon atom. Therefore, CCl4 is not humid analyzed.

## Exceptional Properties of carbon

The first element of the 14-group is carbon. The 14-group exhibits the exception of carbon from other elements. The exceptions to carbon are shown below-

• The ionic size of carbon atoms is unusually small.
• The electronegativity of carbon atoms is high.
• Carbon is a high ionic potential element.
• The d-orbital is missing in the valence chamber.
• Carbon variant diamonds are very hard.
• The melting point and boiling point of carbon atoms are higher than other elements.
• The valence level of a carbon atom has 2 s-orbitals and 2 p-orbitals. When active, the s-orbital has 1 and the p-orbital has 3 electrons. The maximum valence(valency) of carbon is 4. Since the other elements in the group have d-orbitals present, they can extend the valence up to 6. For example, in the case of silicon (SiF6)2– but [CF6)2– is not possible.
• Small size and high electrical negative element. For this, carbon atoms form single bonds, double bonds, and tri-bonds with other atoms and other elements.
• Catenation; This is one of the characteristics of carbon atoms. Carbon atoms join together to form long chains and rings. Such religions are created because of the small size of the carbon atom and the high carbon-carbon bonding strength. Carbon-carbon bonding strength 348kj/mol.

## Bonding Structure of Carbon

### CCl4 Bonding Structure

Electron configuration of carbon and chlorine atoms, C(6) = 1s2 2s2 2p2Chlorine Electron configuration is Cl (17) = 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p5.

There are 4 electrons in the last orbit of a carbon atom. The carbon atom wants to stabilize by taking 4 more electrons in its last orbit.

Again the last orbit of the chlorine atom has 7 electrons. The chlorine atom wants to complete an octave by taking in 1 electron. Therefore, a carbon atom forms a CCl4 compound through covalent bonds by sharing electrons with 4 chlorine atoms.

### CH4 bond formation

Electron configuration of carbon is 1s2 2s2 2p2. And Hydrogen Electron configuration is 1s1.

The above electron configuration shows that there are 4 electrons in the last orbit of the carbon atom. Carbon wants to be stable by taking 4 electrons in its last orbit.

Again, the hydrogen atom wants to be as stable as helium by taking 1 electron and completing its first orbit. Therefore, a carbon atom shares electrons with 4 hydrogen atoms to form the CH4 compound through covalent bonding.

## Properties of Carbon Atoms

• The atomic number of carbon atoms is 6. The atomic number of an element is the number of electrons and protons in that element. That is, the number of electrons and protons in the carbon atom is 6.
• The active atomic mass of the carbon atom is [12.0096, 12.0116].
• Carbon is a non-metal.
• The valency of a carbon atom is 2, 4 and the valence electrons of a carbon atom are 4.
• Carbon atoms are the 2nd period of the periodic table and an element of the 14-group.
• Carbon is an electrically negative element.
• Carbon is an anion element.
• Carbon atoms form covalent bonds.
• Carbon is the p-block element. The ionic energy value of carbon atoms is higher than that of s-block elements.
• Carbon is thermally conductive and electricity is slightly conductive.
• The melting point of a carbon atom is 3550°C and the boiling point is 4827°C.
• The electronegativity of carbon atoms is 2.55 (Pauling scale).
• The oxidation states of carbon are -4, 2, 4.
• The atomic radius of a carbon atom is 67 pm.
• Carbon atom van der Waals radius is 170 pm
• Ionization energies of carbon atoms are 1st: 1086.5 kJ/mol, 2nd: 2352.6 kJ/mol, 3rd: 4620.5 kJ/mol.
• The electron addiction of carbon atoms is –153.9 kJ mol–1
• The covalent radius of the carbon atom is sp3: 77 pm, sp2: 73 pm, sp: 69 pm.
• C = O Bond Length 123 pm, C – O Bond Length 143 pm, C – C Bond Length 154pm, C = C Bond Length 133 pm, C – H (Alken) Bond Length 109pm, C – H (Alkyne) Bond Length 108 pm, C – H (alkyne) 105 pm, C = N bond length 138pm.

## Conclusion

The atomic number of carbon is 6. The atomic number of an element is the number of electrons in that element. Therefore, the number of electrons in the carbon is 6. The main topic of this article is the carbon electron configuration with orbital diagram.

Carbon is the 2nd period of the periodic table and the group-14 element. This article discusses the electron configuration of carbon atoms, period-groups, valency and valence electrons, compound formation, Covalent properties of carbon and properties of the carbon atom.

## FAQ

How do you write the electron configuration for carbon?
Ans: Carbon Electron configuration is C(6) = 1s2 2s2 2p2.

What is the electron configuration for carbon atomic number 6?
Ans: The electron configuration for carbon atomic number 6 is 1s2 2s2 2p6.

What is the symbol for carbon?
Ans: The symbol for carbon is ‘C’.

How many valence electrons does carbon(C) have?
Ans: The last shell of carbon has four electrons, so the valence electrons of carbon have four.

## Reference

• Wikipedia
•  Lide, D. R., ed. (2005). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics(86th ed.). Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press. ISBN 0-8493-0486-5.