Position of carbon in periodic table

Atomic number6
Mass number12
Isotopes 126C,136C,146C

1. Carbon is the first member of the group IVA.

2. Electronic configuration of this group shows that the members have four electrons in their valence shell.

3. Other members of this group are silicon, germanium, tin and lead.

4. Carbon is a non-metal but as we go down the group IVA, the metallic character of the elements increases.

C, Si

Non metal



Sn, Pb


5. Property of catenation

One of the most remarkable properties of carbon is to form bonds with itself thus, forming chains of carbon atoms. This property of forming bonds with atoms of the same element is called catenation. Carbon shows maximum catenation. Silicon shows catenation to some extent while other members do not show catenation.

6. The members of this group show allotropy forms. For e.g., carbon exists as diamond, graphite, coal, etc. while silicon also exists in both crystalline and amorphous forms.

7. Carbon shows tetra covalency i.e., forms four single bonds with monovalent atoms.

Example: CCl4

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