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Homework Help: Noble gas electronic configuration

  1. May 27, 2014 #1
    The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    For the elements in COF2, which noble gas electronic configuration is attained in the Lewis structure.

    The attempt at a solution

    I'm guessing that each element has a noble gas configuration of neon. Would that be correct. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2014 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    A noble gas has a full outer shell, or more particularly, a full 'p' subshell.

    For example, the electronic configuration of Kr in the ground state electron configuration is: [Ar].3d10.4s2.4p6

    Similarly for Xe: [Kr].4d10.5s2.5p6

    In the molecule, COF2, which element (atom) is most likely to fill its p-subshell?
  4. May 27, 2014 #3
    Thanks for replying.

    F has 7 valence electrons so I'm guessing that it's the most likely to fill its p shell which would give it the noble gas electronic configuration of neon. But when it comes to COF2 wouldn't all the atoms have a full outer shell by sharing electrons. Sorry I'm just a little confused I'd really appreciate if you could point in the right direction.

  5. May 27, 2014 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Well, the number of electrons is conserved in a neutral molecule.

    In order for F to fill it's outer shell, what must happen? Where does the electron originate to fill the p-subshell?

    Also, look at the electron configurations of C and O. What must happen for those atoms to fill their p-subshell?
  6. May 27, 2014 #5
    I'm guessing that the electron would originate from the carbon atom.

    Carbon needs 4 electrons and oxygen needs 2 electrons in order to fill their p shells. So in this case am I correct in thinking that all the atoms fill their p shells by sharing electrons? If that was the case wouldn't they all have the same electronic configuration as neon since their electronic configuration would be 1s22s22p6? What am I missing?

  7. May 27, 2014 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    Looks OK to me.

    Try to draw Lewis structure.
  8. May 27, 2014 #7
    Thank you :smile:
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