I have been studying the molecular orbital theorem. I read that the energy levels for the $\ce{p}$ orbitals in the first series of $\ce{p}$ block molecules are something to the tune of $$\pi_x=\pi_y<\sigma_z<\pi_x^*=\pi_y^*<\sigma_z^*$$

except for $\ce{O2 and F2}$, which have $$\sigma_z<\pi_x=\pi_y<\pi_x^*=\pi_y^*<\sigma_z^*$$

But it got me thinking: what order would the orbitals take in a compound such as $\ce{CO, NO}$?

(Also, out of curiosity, what about $\ce{p-p}$ bonds in higher series of the $\ce{p}$ block? Does $\ce{Cl2}$ have the same order as $\ce{O2}$?)

My guess was that since in heteronuclear orbitals more electronegative elements have lower energy orbitals, compounded with the fact that the $\sigma$ orbitals it forms tend to be lower energy, it should follow the latter’s order.


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