Q:

What is the molecular geometry of CO2?

A:

Quick Answer

CO2 is known as a linear triatomic molecule. This means that CO2 has three atoms arranged in a line with carbon in the middle and one oxygen atom on each end.

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Full Answer

This structure forms naturally, as oxygen is relatively more electronegative than carbon. The linear shape of the molecule is not affected by the relative strength of the bond between oxygen and carbon. As oxygen forms double bonds, and carbon naturally forms four, each oxygen atom is bound to the carbon by a double bond. Since the shared electrons occupy what is essentially the same volume, the double bonds act in a way similar to single bonds in determining the overall shape of the CO2 molecule.

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