The Octet Rule of Electron Configuration

Valence electron octet rule

What is the Octet Rule of Electron Configuration?

Electron configuration is the arrangement of electrons in each energy level or shell of an atom.

  • If the outer shell of an atom is not filled to its maximum level, the atom is still reactive and has a tendency to combine with other elements
  • The atom only becomes stable when it is filled to the maximum level it can hold in the outer shell
  • The octet rule is a rule of thumb that works most of the time with some exceptions
  • For more information on valence electrons, please click here >>

Chlorine and fluorine fulfilling the octet rule

Chlorine and fluorine are bonded to fulfill the octet rule

Fluorine has 7 valence electrons

Chlorine has 7 valence electrons

Chlorine and fluorine are bonded by sharing 1 electron each

Together they become a stable compound

Each atom now has 8 valence electrons (instead of 7) orbiting in its valence shell

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