Carbene facts for kids
A carbene is a molecule with a carbon atom that has two bonds and two other electrons that do not make any bonds. Since the carbon has only 6 electrons around it, it is quite reactive. The general formula can be written as R-(C:)-R'.
A carbene can be a singlet or a triplet. In the first case, the two electrons that do not make bonds are like a lone pair. They both stay in the same orbital. In a triplet carbene instead, the two electron stay in different orbitals. Here they both have the same spin.
Most carbenes are very unstable. However, some can exist for a long time. A famous example is Grubbs' catalyst, which was developed by Robert Grubbs.
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Carbene Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.