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When we are asked to draw the molecular orbital theory for a molecule with two different elements, I know we have to draw the orbitals for one element lower than the others but why and which one do we choose? Also what are the important ideas we have to pay attention to when we have two different elements?
You have to draw the more electronegative atom lower in the model because the more electronegative atom has lower energy levels. You do this when there are two different atoms (ex: oxygen and carbon). If it is two of the same atoms, they go on the same level. (ex: carbon and carbon)
The more electronegative atom is slightly lower when drawing MO diagrams for a heteronuclear diatomic molecule. Additionally, if one of the atoms has a nuclear charge of 8 and higher (Z>8) then the sigma bonds are lower than the pi bonds.
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