Electron-Dot Diagram for Carbon


The Electron-Dot Diagram for Carbon

 The first step in the process is to detemine either the orbital-filling or electron-configuration diagram. For example, carbon contains six electrons in its electron-configuration diagram: [He]2s²2p². [He] represents two of the six electrons. Only four of the six electrons are in the valence shell. In this case, the valence shell contains just the 2s and 2p sublevels, two electrons in the s sublevel and two more in the p sublevel. The s and p sublevels to be diagrammed must be from the valence shell. The electron-dot diagram has four positions in which to place dots, with one postion each to the left, top, right and bottom of the symbol for the element. Two dots, representing two electrons at most, can be in each of the four postions.  The sum of electrons in the 2s and 2p is four electrons for carbon. This means  four dots will be in the electron-dot diagram. Two dots to the left, one above and one to the right of the symbol for carbon. See figure 1. No element will have less than one dot or more than eight dots in its completed electron-dot diagram. There are just eight possible electron-dot diagrams on the periodic table. With sufficient practice, the electron dot diagram for any element can be determined by locating the element's position on the periodic table.


© Pat Thayer 2014-2016