3j. The covalent bonding in the oxygen molecule

Doc Brown's Chemistry: Chemical Bonding and structure GCSE level, IGCSE, O, IB, AS, A level US grade 9-12 level Revision Notes

Covalent bonding diagram for OXYGEN covalent molecule, molecular formula O2

* metals \ non-metals (zig-zag line)

Pd metals Part of the modern Periodic Table

Pd = period, Gp = group

metals => non–metals
Gp1 Gp2 Gp3 Gp4 Gp5 Gp6 Gp7 Gp0
1 1H  Note that hydrogen does not readily fit into any group but is a non-metal 2He
2 3Li 4Be atomic number Chemical Symbol eg 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
3 11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
4 19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
5 37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
6 55Cs 56Ba Transition Metals 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
The covalent molecule oxygen from combining with itself

(c) doc b Two atoms of oxygen (2.6) combine to form the molecules of the element oxygen O2 (only the outer shell of oxygen's electrons are shown).

Each oxygen atom is two electrons short of a full outer shell, so each oxygen atom shares two of its electrons with the other atom, so both oxygen atoms have a full outer shell.

(Lewis diagram of oxygen) simplified 'dot and cross' electronic diagram for the covalently bonded oxygen molecule

The molecule has one O=O double covalent bond (c) doc b (displayed formula), oxygen valency 2.

The oxygen molecule is held together by the strong O=O oxygen–oxygen double covalent bond by sharing electrons.

dot and cross diagram of the oxygen moleculeElectronically, by sharing two electrons, both oxygen atoms attain a pseudo neon structure (2.8), so the oxygen atoms effectively have full outer shells in forming the covalent bonds when the atoms share their outer electrons.

On the left is the full 'dot and cross' electronic diagram for the covalent bonding in the oxygen molecule showing the inner non-valence electrons - omitted from the right diagram.



The electronic dot & cross Lewis diagrams for covalent bonding in oxygen can be shown without the inner non-valency electrons (right diagram).

ball and stick model of oxygen would be like chlorine with a = bond


Melting point of oxygen -218 oC

Boiling point of oxygen -189 oC

The colourless odourless gas that we can't live without !!!






What next?

Recommend next: The covalent bonding in the carbon dioxide molecule

Explaining the properties of small covalently bonded molecules


Sub-index for Part 3. Covalent Bonding: small molecules & properties


Index for ALL chemical bonding and structure notes


Perhaps of interest?

Gas preparations including oxygen


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