Carbon Lewis Dot Structure: Drawing, Several Compounds  And Detailed Explanations


In this article we are going to study various carbon Lewis dot structures in detail.

The reason carbon can form bonds with various elements is due to properties like catenation, tetra valency, average electronegativity, etc. We shall understand this better by studying various carbon Lewis dot structures.

Hydrogen and Carbon lewis dot structure

The simplest compound that is formed from hydrogen and carbon lewis dot structure is methane. By using the concept of lewis dot structure for representing methane we can understand the concept of bonding in the molecule better. So we are going to understand how to draw hydrogen and carbon lewis dot structure step by step.

We must know the number of valence electrons in order to draw the structure. So the number of valence electrons in methane: According to the formula there is one carbon and 4 hydrogens in the structure.  The number of valence electrons in carbon are 4 and in hydrogen, there is one ( as there are four hydrogen atoms in the molecule, the number of valence electrons will be 4). So total number of valence electrons in the molecule will be 4+4 = 8.

Now we have to identify the atom that has to be placed in the center, so the central atom is the one that has the least electronegativity. In this molecule, carbon will be the central atom, and the rest(hydrogen) atoms will be the surrounding ones. As we can see, the dots around the atoms represent the number of valence electrons. So the dots are placed in a manner that it satisfies the valency of the bonding atoms.

Hence in each bond hydrogen and carbon both contribute one electron each and thus satisfy each others valency. As only one pair of electrons is involved in the formation of the bond the resulting bond is a single bond. The structure is tetrahedral and has sp3 hybridization.

Potassium and carbon lewis dot structure

There are many potassium and carbon compounds but we are going to study Potassium Carbonate (K2CO3). First, we’ll understand the lewis dot structure of Carbonate ion ( CO32-) which will make it easier to draw the Potassium Carbonate structure.

In the Carbonate ion, there is one carbon and 3 oxygen atoms, so the number of valence electrons in carbon is 4 and oxygen is 6 ( since there are 3 oxygen atoms, there will be 3×6=18 valence electrons in oxygen) and +2 electrons as it has -2 charge on it. Therefore the total number of valence electrons will be 4+6×3+2=24 electrons. Carbon being the least electronegative in the molecule, it will be the central atom, and oxygen is placed around it. So 2 electrons are placed between the oxygen and carbon to satisfy the valency ( 6 electrons will be placed on each oxygen atom).

But what we notice is the valency of carbon is not being satisfied, so one electron pair of oxygen will have to be placed between carbon and oxygen. In this way the valency of carbon and oxygen is satisfied. But we can notice that 2 atoms of oxygen will form single bond and one oxygen will form double bond. As there is 2- charge on Carbonate we put a bracket around the structure and write -2.

Now that we know the Carbonate ion lewis dot structure we can easily arrive at K2CO3 lewis dot structure. Potassium being a metal and CO3 being a non metal it will be an ionic compound. So the valence electrons of the metal are transferred to the non metal. Write both K on either side and place the Carbonate in the middle. The valency of potassium is +1 so it will give its valence electron to Carbonate ion and have a positive charge.  In this way, the potassium and carbon balance charge and K2CO3 will be a neutral compound.

Carbon dioxide lewis dot structure

The structure of carbon dioxide contains one carbon atom and 2 oxygen atoms.

The valence electrons of carbon are four and oxygen 6 ( since 2 atoms of oxygen are present, the total number of oxygen valence electrons includes 6×2=12 electrons). Therefore total number of valence electrons will be 12+4=16 electrons. As carbon is the least electronegative, it will be the central atom and oxygen will be surrounding it. If we place 6 electrons around each oxygen atom and 2 electrons between oxygen and carbon the valency of carbon will not be satisfied, hence 2 electron pairs are placed between the oxygen and carbon atom.

In this way the valency of both the atoms is satisfied. As 2 electrons pairs are shared between each of the bonds, it results in a double bond.

Carbon monoxide lewis dot structure

The structure of carbon monoxide (CO), consists of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom.

The valence electrons in carbon are 4 and in oxygen 6. So total number of valence electrons are 4+6=10 electrons. Again carbon will be the central atom due to less electronegativity. If we place one electron pair between the two atoms (oxygen and carbon), the valency of carbon will not be satisfied.

Hence we need to place 3 electron pairs between both the atoms of oxygen and the carbon atom, in this way the valency of carbon and oxygen will be satisfied and the resultant will be a triple bond. It exists in the form of a gas (colorless) and it is flammable. It is also known as water gas.

Carbon tetrachloride lewis dot structure

The structure of carbon tetrachloride consists of one atom of carbon and 4 atoms of chlorine (CCl4).

The valence electrons of carbon are 4 and chlorine are 7 ( since 4 atoms of chlorine are present, the total chlorine valence electrons will be 4×7=28 ). The total number of valence electrons in the molecule will be 4+28=32 electrons. Due to less electronegativity then chlorine carbon will be the central atom. In order to satisfy the valency of each of the chlorine atom and carbon atom. We need to place one electron pair between each of the chlorine and carbon atom.

Now the valency of all the atoms will be satisfied. All the resulting bonds will be single bonds.

Carbon disulfide lewis dot structure

The structure of carbon disulfide consists of one atom of carbon and 2 atoms of sulfur.

The valence electrons of carbon are 4 and sulfur are 6 ( since 2 atoms of sulfur are present the total number of sulfur valence electrons are 6×2=12 electrons). So the total number of valence electrons in the molecule will be 4+12=16 electrons. Carbon will be the central atom as it is comparatively less electronegative. If we place one electron pair between the 2 atoms ( sulfur and carbon) the valency will not be satisfied, so we have to place 2 electron pairs between the carbon and sulfur atom.

This way the valency of both carbon and sulfur is satisfied and the resulting both the bonds will be double bond with a bond length of 155.26 pm.

Carbon and hydrogen lewis dot structure

In the earlier section we have seen the simplest molecule methane having carbon and hydrogen atom, in this section we shall see a slightly complex molecule of propane. The structure has 3 atoms of carbon and 8 atoms of hydrogen (C3H8).

The valence electrons of carbon are 4 ( since 3 atoms of carbon are present, the total number of carbon valence electrons will be 4×3=12 electrons) and hydrogen is 1 ( since 8 hydrogen atoms are present, the total number of hydrogen valence electrons will be 8×1=8 electrons). Therefore the total number of valence electrons in the molecule will be 12+8=20 electrons.

The central atom will be carbon. The 2 carbon atoms that are on the external side of the structure share 3 electron pair with 3 hydrogen atoms and one pair with the internal carbon atom. And the internal carbon atom shares 2 electron pairs on the either side with the 2 external carbon atoms and 2 electrons pairs with the 2 hydrogen atoms. In this way, all the atoms satisfy their valency and all the resulting bonds are single bonds.

Carbon Tetrafluoride lewis dot structure

The structure of carbon tetrafluoride consists of one atom of carbon and 4 atoms of fluorine (CF4).

The valence electrons in carbon are 4 and in fluorine 7 ( since 4 atoms of fluorine are present,  the total fluorine valence electrons in the molecule will be 4×7=28 electrons ). The total number of valence electrons in the molecule will be 28+4=32 electrons. Again the carbon atom will be the central atom due to less electronegativity.

One pair of electrons is shared between each of the carbon and fluorine. In this way the valency of all the atoms is satisfied and the resulting all the bonds are single bonds. The average bond length observed is around 132 ppm. The strength of the bond between carbon and fluorine is quite high.

Carbon and Chlorine lewis dot structure

In the earlier section, we have seen the example of CCl4 which is an example of carbon and Chlorine compound. Now we’ll study one more molecule of carbon and  Chlorine but it has one hydrogen as well and the molecule is chloroform.

The structure has one carbon atom, one hydrogen atom, and 3 Chlorine atoms (CHCl3). Its synonym ( or IUPAC name ) is trichloromethane. We know the valence electrons in carbon are 4, in hydrogen, it is one and in Chlorine it is 7 ( since 3 Chlorine atoms are present, the total chlorine valence electrons will be 3×7=21 electrons ). The total valence electrons in the molecule will be 4+1+21=26 electrons.

Carbon will be the central atom due to less electronegativity. One electron pair has to be placed between the three atoms of Chlorine and carbon, and between hydrogen and carbon atom. In this way, the valency of all the atoms will be satisfied and the resulting bonds will be single bonds. It exists in the form of a gas ( colorless ). One should be very careful while handling with this compound as it is carcinogenic and can be very hazardous to health.

Carbon tetrabromide lewis dot structure

The structure of tetrabromide has one carbon atom and 4 bromine atoms ( CBr4).

The valence electrons of carbon are 4 and bromine is 7 ( since 4 bromine atoms are present the total bromine valence electrons will be 4×7=28 electrons ). The total number of valence electrons in the molecule will be 28+4=32 electrons. One electron pair is has to be placed between each of the bromine and carbon atom. In this way the valency of all the atoms is satisfied and resulting bonds are single bonds. The observed hybridization is sp3.

Its synonym is tetrabromomethane. It has sweet odor and exists as a gas ( colorless) with a monoclinic crystal structure.

Also, please click to know about SF6 Lewis Structure and XeCl4 Lewis Structure.

Sania Jakati

This is Sania Jakati from Goa. I am an aspiring chemist pursuing my post graduation in organic chemistry. I believe education is the key element that moulds you into a great human being both mentally and physically. I'm glad to be a member of scintillating branch of chemistry and will try my best to contribute whatever I can from my side and Lambdageeks is the best platform where I can share as well as gain knowledge at the same time. LinkedIn-https://www.linkedin.com/in/sania-jakati-0954101bb

Recent Posts