Carbon Valence Electrons

Carbon Valence Electrons
Carbon valence electrons

Carbon has 4 valence electrons.


We can write the valence electrons of carbon using two different methods:

#1 Using periodic table
#2 Using electron configuration

Let’s break down each method in detail.

#1 Using Periodic Table

Periodic table

Get the periodic table having the chemical elements marked on it as mentioned above.

Now mark the location of carbon on the periodic table.

Carbon location marked on periodic table

Next, mark the group number of carbon on the periodic table.

Carbon group number marked on periodic table

The valence electrons of each main group element can be determined by the column in which it is located.

(i.e., all group 1 elements have 1 valence electron, all group 2 elements have 2 valence electrons, skip the transition metals… then, all group 13 elements have 3 valence electrons, all group 14 elements have 4 valence electrons, and so on up to group 18 elements)

Since carbon is in group 14, it has 4 valence electrons.

#2 Using Electron Configuration

  • First, write electron configuration of carbon

The electron configuration of carbon is [He] 2s2 2p2.

  • Second, find highest energy level in electron configuration
Green colored number represent highest energy level

In the above electron configuration, the highest energy level (2) is marked with green color.

  • Finally, count electrons of that energy level
Number circled with green color represent electrons

The 2nd energy level contains 2s and 2p subshells. There are 2 electrons in the 2s subshell and 2 electrons in the 2p subshell. So carbon has a total of 2 + 2 = 4 valence electrons.

Next: Nitrogen Valence Electrons



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