Lewis Structure of CO (With 5 Simple Steps to Draw!)

Lewis structure of CO

Ready to learn how to draw the lewis structure of CO?

Awesome!

Here, I have explained 5 simple steps to draw the lewis dot structure of CO (along with images).

So, if you are ready to go with these 5 simple steps, then let’s dive right into it!

Lewis structure of CO (or Carbon Monoxide) contains one triple bond between the Carbon (C) atom and Oxygen (O) atom. The Carbon atom and oxygen atom, both have one lone pair.

Let’s draw and understand this lewis dot structure step by step.

(Note: Take a pen and paper with you and try to draw this lewis structure along with me. I am sure you will definitely learn how to draw lewis structure of CO).

5 Steps to Draw the Lewis Structure of CO

Step #1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons

Here, the given molecule is CO (carbon monoxide). In order to draw the lewis structure of CO, first of all you have to find the total number of valence electrons present in the CO molecule.
(Valence electrons are the number of electrons present in the outermost shell of an atom).

So, let’s calculate this first.

Calculation of valence electrons in CO

  • For Carbon:

Carbon is a group 14 element on the periodic table.

Hence, the valence electrons present in carbon is 4 (see below image).

  • For Oxygen:

Oxygen is a group 16 element on the periodic table.

Hence, the valence electron present in oxygen is 6 (see below image).

Hence in a CO molecule, 

Valence electrons given by Carbon (C) atom = 4
Valence electrons given by Oxygen (O) atom = 6
So, total number of Valence electrons in CO molecule = 4 + 6 = 10

Step #2: Select the center atom

While selecting the atom, you have to put the least electronegative atom at the center. 

But here in the CO molecule, there are only two atoms. So you can consider any of the atoms as a center atom.

step 1

So, let’s assume that the carbon atom is a central atom. (You should assume the less electronegative atom as a central atom.)

Step #3: Put two electrons between the atoms to represent a chemical bond

Now in the above sketch of CO molecule, put the two electrons (i.e electron pair) between the carbon atom and oxygen atoms to represent a chemical bond between them.

step 2

This pair of electrons present between the Carbon (C) atom and Oxygen (O) atom forms a chemical bond, which bonds both the carbon atom and oxygen atom with each other in a CO molecule.

Step #4: Complete the octet (or duplet) on outside atom. If the valence electrons are left, then put the valence electrons pair on the central atom

Don’t worry, I’ll explain!

In the Lewis structure of CO, we have just assumed the carbon atom as a central atom and so the oxygen atom is an outer atom.

So now, we have to complete the octet on this oxygen atom.

step 3

Now, you can see in the above image that the oxygen atom forms an octet.

Also, only 8 valence electrons of CO molecule are used in the above structure.

But there are total 10 valence electrons in CO molecule (as calculated in step #1).

So the number of electrons left to be kept on the central atom = 10 – 8 = 2.

So let’s keep these two electrons (i.e electron pair) on the central atom (i.e carbon atom).

step 4

Now, let’s move to the next step.

Step #5: Check whether the central atom has octet or not. If it does not have an octet, then move the electron pair from the outer atom to form a double bond or triple bond

In this step, we have to check whether the central atom (i.e carbon atom) has an octet or not.

In simple words, we have to check whether this Carbon (C) atom is having 8 electrons or not.

step 5

As you can see from the above image, this carbon atom has only 4 electrons. So it does not fulfill the octet rule.

Now, in order to fulfill the octet of this carbon atom, we have to move the electron pair from the outer atom (i.e oxygen atom) to form a double bond.

step 6

Still, the octet of carbon atom is not fulfilled as it has only 6 electrons.

So again moving the electron pair from the oxygen atom, we will get the following structure.

step 7

Now you can see from the above image that the carbon atom as well as oxygen atom has 8 electrons. So both the atoms fulfill the octet rule and hence the above lewis structure of CO is stable.

Each electron pair (:) in the lewis dot structure of CO represents the single bond ( | ). So the above lewis dot structure of CO can also be represented as shown below.

CO Lewis structure

Related lewis structures for your practice:
Lewis structure of CH4
Lewis structure of BF3
Lewis structure of NO3 –
Lewis structure of O3
Lewis structure of C2H2

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