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Chemistry LibreTexts

Carbene

  • Page ID
    39205
  • A carbene (also known as a carbenoid) is a species that has a formally neutral carbon atom bearing two nonbonded valence electrons. A carbene has the following general structural formula.

    R1 and R2 could be any ligand

    eg:

    A carbene could exist in two spin states: singlet carbene and triplet carbene. In a singlet carbene, the two nonbonded valence electrons in the electron-deficient carbon are in the same orbital, i.e., they are a lone pair.

    In a triplet carbene, the two nonbonded valence electrons in the electron-deficient carbon are in different orbitals. Since a triplet carbene has unpaired electrons, it is, by definition, a radical.

    see also carbene equivalent, nitrene