CO LewisStructure :Drawings, Hybridization, Shape, charges,Pair And Detailed Facts

In this article , we going to study the best CO lewis structure in between all resonate structure. We know the important facts associated with it.

By using the lewis concept we understand the bonding between atoms in a carbon and oxygen molecule. So the hybridization of carbon and oxygen in CO are sp. This is a linear molecule geometry. The formal charge of carbon monoxide is zero. We can count charge of individual also.

How to draw Lewis structure for CO ?

Basis on the periodic table, Lewis structure has 4 for carbon and 6 for oxygen. CO formed by adding carbon and oxygen. Oxygen is present in group 16. It is also called chalcogens. Carbon is present in group 14. The electronic configuration of both ,O = 1s2 2s2 2p4 (6 valence electrons) C = 1s2 2s2 2p2 (4 valence electrons).

It have to obey octet rule but in this way the CO will be unstable. Now the oxygen which is present here, shared two lone pairs to form another bond in between carbon and oxygen. The two lone pairs, which will formed here that one is a dative bond.

Carbon and oxygen bonded with each other by two covalent bond and 1 dative bond, so triple bond will be formed. in this way the carbon and oxygen both obey octet rule also.Carbon will give 2 valence electrons and oxygen gives 6 electrons. By sharing of two extra electrons which is lone pairs, the carbon can fulfill their octet configuration.

co lewis structure
Image credit of Carbon monoxide by istock

CO Lewis structure shape:

Carbon monoxide lewis structure is a linear molecule. The shape is linear, having triple bond between carbon and oxygen. Carbon as well as Oxygen contained one pair of lone electrons in their structure. Carbon and oxygen combined with triple bond, means here 1 sigma and two pi bonds will present. Carbon monoxide mainly produced by the partial combustion of fossil fuels.

It can cause acute illness and worst case scenario is the death. In the periodic table carbon is less electronegative value than oxygen. Carbon having E.N value 2.5 and oxygen having E.N value 3.5. The shape will be confirmed linear because the bond angle is 180°.

CO Lewis structure formal charges:

Formal charge = valence electron – non-bonding valence electron – bonding electron / 2. Here we calculate the formal charges of CO Lewis structure. In the periodic table Carbon has four pair of electrons.So the formal charge is plus one (+1) and (-1) for other. The percentages of formation of this CO Lewis structure is 50%.

If we take another probability , Four electrons are involved in chemical bond. Here the formal charge of carbon will be zero. So we get Formal charge of oxygen in CO is 6-4-2 = 6-6= 0. So it can be the best lewis structure having formal charges zero. The percentages of abundance are 40%.

Another probability is carbon and oxygen singly boded with each other. Here carbon having 1 lone pair and oxygen having 3 lone pairs.In the periodic table, carbon has 4 valence electrons. The percentages of abundance of this lewis structure is 10%.

CO Lewis structure lone pairs:

Basis on the best lewis Structure of CO. Two lone pair of electrons is present on the carbon atom and one oxygen atom. Geometry of CO should be linear in this because there are 2 lone pairs and the bonds are straight. Here we should know that to detect the shape of the molecule the lone pair will not be counted. The molecule is considered is linear molecule by nature.

Hybridization of CO:

The hybridization of carbon and oxygen in the carbon monoxide Lewis structure is sp. Carbon and oxygen have triple bond in between it. One unshared pair of electron in carbon and oxygen present in both.

Carbon carries negative charge and oxygen carries positive charge here. Two sp hybridized orbitals of the carbon atom overlap with two p orbitals of oxygen to form 2 Sigma bonds. Other 2 electrons of carbon are involved in pi-pi bonding.

CO Lewis structure is consist of two atom .One is oxygen and other one is carbon. CO is carbon monoxide, bonded by triple bond.It has no odor.

CO Lewis structure resonance:

Resonance is the Latin word come from the word “Resonatia”. It is otherwise known as mesmerism. This is the way to draw different bonding to describe the structure. Certain molecules are several type of contributing structure called resonance hybrid or canonical structure. The different delocalization can be showed through it.
There are 3 type of resonating structure:
1. Resonating structure-1
2. Resonating structure-2
3. Resonating structure-3

1. Resonating structure-1
In this case carbon is bonded with oxygen by triple bond. Carbon and oxygen both have one pair of lone pair electrons in it. Oxygen shared one lone pair of electron with carbon to complete their octet .The resonate structure is found in 50% of abundance.
2. Resonating structure-2
We can draw 2nd resonating structure by making double bond in between carbon and oxygen. Carbon has four valence electrons.The formal charge is zero here. So it is the best resonating structure we can say. This resonating structure is found in 40% of abundance.
3. Resonating structure -3
It is found where carbon and oxygen is singly bonded with each other. Carbon has 4 valence electrons, 2 dots and 1bond present in it. So formal charge of carbon is, 4-2-1= +1.
Oxygen has 6 valence electrons, 6 dots and 1bond, so the formal charge is 6-6-1= -1.The resonating structure is found only in 10% of abundance.

CO Lewis structure octet rule:

Octet rule is used to build a compound in stable form. In CO Lewis structure, the octet rule is fulfilled when carbon bonded with oxygen by triple bond. One pair of lone pair shared by oxygen to carbon to form a dative bond. By this the carbon and oxygen both obey the octet rule.

CO Lewis structure is polar in nature. It is produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels. CO is most toxic gas. It can cause acute illness and in worst case scenarios that is death. It is most common type of fatal poisoning in the whole world.


Carbon monoxide molecules consist of carbon atom covalently boned with oxygen atom. In CO molecule C-O Length is 112.8 pm. It is toxic gas. The shape is linear. Each of the atom contain one lone pairs.

Upasana Nayak

Hi.....I am Upasana Nayak. I have done my Masters in Chemistry. I am working as a Chemist in a mining company along with that working as a Subject Matter Expert in Lambdageeks for Chemistry subject Let's connect through LinkedIn:

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