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There is a very interesting consistency in these molecular formulae: in each case, the number of hydrogen atoms is two more than twice the number of carbon atoms, so that each compound has a molecular formula like C n H 2n+2 . (Try it out!) This suggests that there are strong similarities in the valences of the atoms involved which should be understandable in terms of our valence shell electron pair sharing model.

Since each H atom can only bond to a single other atom, the carbon atoms in each molecules must be directly bonded together. In the easiest example of ethane, the two carbon atoms are bonded together, and each carbon atom is in turn bonded to three hydrogen atoms. This would fit our model of valence, since each carbon atom is bonded to four other atoms (three hydrogens and the other carbon). By sharing an electron pair with each of those four atoms, each carbon atom fills its valence shell with eight electrons. This example was not difficult.

In most other cases, it is not so trivial to determine which atoms are bonded to which. This is because there may be multiple possibilities which satisfy all the atomic valences. As the number of atoms and electrons increases, it may also be difficult to determine whether each atom has an octet of electrons in its valence shell. We need a system of counting the valence electrons which makes it easy for us to see these features more clearly. To start, we create a notation for each atom which displays the number of valence electrons in the unbonded atom explicitly. In this notation, carbon and hydrogen look like

where the dots represent the single valence electron in hydrogen and the four valence electrons in carbon. Note that the C atom valence electrons are all unpaired. This is because we know that the valence of a C atom is four, so there are four valence electrons available to be shared with other atoms.

Using this notation, it is now fairly easy to represent the shared electron pairs and the carbon atom valence shell octets in methane and ethane. For each pair of bonded atoms, we share an electron pair from the valence shell electrons. This gives for methane and ethane:

Recall that each shared pair of electrons represents a chemical bond. These drawing are examples of what are called “Lewis structures,” after G.N. Lewis who first invented this notation. These structures reveal, at a glance, which atoms are bonded to which, so we call this the “structural formula” of the molecule. There are two things to check about the electrons in the structural formula. First, we cannot have created or lost any valence electrons. For example, in ethane we started with four valence electrons from each carbon and one valence electron from each hydrogen, for a total of 14 electrons. The structural formula of ethane drawn above has 14 valence electrons, so that is correct. Second, if we have satisfied the valence of each atom, each carbon should have an octet of electrons and each hydrogen should have two electrons. We can also easily count the number of valence shell electrons around each atom in the bonded molecule and verify that this is also correct.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Concept development studies in chemistry 2013. OpenStax CNX. Oct 07, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11579/1.1
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