Oxygen has 6 valence electrons.
We can write the valence electrons of oxygen using two different methods:
#1 Using periodic table
#2 Using electron configuration
Let’s break down each method in detail.
Using periodic table
Get the periodic table having the chemical elements marked on it as mentioned above.
Now mark the location of oxygen on the periodic table.
Next, mark the group number of oxygen on the 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 oxygen is in group 16, it has 6 valence electrons.
Using electron configuration
- First, write electron configuration of oxygen
The electron configuration of oxygen is [He] 2s2 2p4.
- Second, find highest energy level in electron configuration
In the above electron configuration, the highest energy level (2) is marked with green color.
- Finally, count electrons of that energy level
The 2nd energy level contains 2s and 2p subshells. There are 2 electrons in the 2s subshell and 4 electrons in the 2p subshell. So oxygen has a total of 2 + 4 = 6 valence electrons.
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