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What is the hybridization in #'CO'_2#?

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The carbon atom has #sp# hybridization; the #'O'# atoms have #sp^2# hybridization.

C atom

Explanation:

You must first draw the Lewis structure for #'CO'_2#.

According to VSEPR theory, we can use the steric number#('SN')# to determine the hybridization of an atom.

#'SN'# = number of lone pairs + number of atoms directly attached to the atom.

  • #'SN = 2'# corresponds to #sp# hybridization.
  • #'SN'= 3'# corresponds to #sp^2# hybridization.

We see that the #'C'# atom has #'SN = 2'#. It has no lone pairs, but it is attached to two other atoms.

It has #sp#hybridization.

Atom C Linux

Each #'O'# atom has #'SN = 3'#. It has 2 lone pairs and is attached to 1 #'C'# atom.

Atom

Just as the carbon atom hybridized to form the best bonds, so do the oxygen atoms.

C Atomic Mass

The valence electron configuration of #'O'# is #['He'] 2s^2 2p^4#.

C AtomAtom

To accommodate the two lone pairs and the bonding pair, it will also form three equivalent #sp^2# hybrid orbitals.

Two of the #sp^2# orbitals contain lone pairs, while the remaining #sp^2# orbital and the unhybridized #p# orbital have one electron each.

We can see this arrangement in the #'C=O'# bond of formaldehyde, which is equivalent to the right-hand side of the #'O=C=O'# molecule.


(from www.slideshare.net)

There is a similar arrangement on the left side of the #'O=C=O'# molecule, but the #pi# bond is horizontal rather than vertical.

C atom

Here is a video about the hybridization of carbon dioxide.

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