Electron Dot Diagram

The easiest and most reliable way to come up with the electron dot diagram for a given atom is to use the electron details of the subshell filling pattern to get the correct electron configuration.

atom classic

This can be applied to any element. In addition, we shall also consider the simpler method that can only be applied to the first 20 elements, being the 2, 8, 8, 2 method of shell filling. This method does not give us subshell information but does produce accurate electron dot structures that can be used for investigating the bonding of elements.

Once we have done this we can see that the atom of any element has between one and eight electrons in its outer shell. This determines both its chemical properties and the Group it is placed in in the Periodic Table. It is the outer shell electrons that give an element its chemical properties and with this knowledge we can see clearly how modern crystalline Silicon photovoltaic solar cell operates. The following elements are all from the second period, or row, of the Periodic Table. All the other elements in the same column (also called Group) of the periodic table have the same outer shell electron configuration as the example given. The colours of the atoms are merely for decoration.

Please excuse the repetition, but it is necessary for a clear explanation of the differences between the elements discussed.

Lithium

A neutral atom of Lithium has three protons and three electrons, giving an electron configuration of: 1s2 2s1, meaning it has ONE electron in its outermost shell.

electron configuration of elements

Beryllium

A neutral atom of Beryllium has four protons and four electrons, giving an electron configuration of: 1s2 2s2, meaning it has TWO electron in its outermost shell.

electron arrangement

Boron

A neutral atom of Boron has five protons and five electrons, giving an electron configuration of: 1s2 2s2 2p1, meaning it has THREE electron in its outermost shell.

electron shell of boron

Carbon

A neutral atom of Carbon has six protons and six electrons, giving an electron configuration of: 1s2 2s2 2p2, meaning it has FOUR electron in its outermost shell.

valance electron

Nitrogen

A neutral atom of Nitrogen has seven protons and seven electrons, giving an electron configuration of: 1s2 2s2 2p3, meaning it has FIVE electron in its outermost shell.

electron theory and atoms

Oxygen

A neutral atom of Oxygen has eight protons and eight electrons, giving an electron configuration of: 1s2 2s2 2p4, meaning it has SIX electron in its outermost shell.

d electron

Fluorine

A neutral atom of Fluorine has nine protons and nine electrons, giving an electron configuration of: 1s2 2s2 2p5, meaning it has SEVEN electron in its outermost shell.

electron dot structure

Neon

A neutral atom of Neon has ten protons and ten electrons, giving an electron configuration of: 1s2 2s2 2p6, meaning it has EIGHT electron in its outermost shell. That gives the following electron dot diagram:

electron dot structures

The electron dot diagram given for each element can be used to easily explain how different elements bond together in order to achieve a full outer shell of eight electrons and therefore maximum stability.