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1

Complex Lewis Structures


2
There are some molecules and
polyatomic ions for which no single
Lewis structure consistent with all
characteristics and bonding information
can be written.
3
Step 1. The total number of valence electrons
is 24, 5 from the nitrogen atom and 6 from
each O atom, and 1 from the 1 charge.
Write a Lewis structure for NO
2
.
-
3
NO .
4
Since the extra electron present results in
nitrate having a 1 charge, the ion is enclosed
in brackets with a charge.
Step 2. The three O atoms are bonded to a
central N atom. Write the skeletal structure
and place two electrons between each pair of
atoms.
Write a Lewis structure for NO
2
.
-
3
NO .
O N O
: :
O
:

-
5
Step 3. Subtract the 6 electrons used in Step 2
from 24, the total number of valence
electrons, to obtain 18 electrons yet to be
placed.
Since the extra electron present results in
nitrate having a 1 charge, the ion is enclosed
in brackets with a charge.
O N O
: :
O
:

-
Write a Lewis structure for NO
2
.
-
3
NO .
6
O N O
O
Step 4. Distribute the 18 electrons around the
N and O atoms.
Write a Lewis structure for NO
2
.
-
3
NO .
:

:

:

:

: :
:
:

:

: :
:

electron deficient
7
Write a Lewis structure for NO
2
.
-
3
NO .
Step 5. One pair of electrons is still needed to
give all the N and O atoms a noble gas
structure. Move the unbonded pair of
electrons from the N atom and place it
between the N and the electron-deficient O
atom, making a double bond.
:

:

:

:

: :
:
:

:

O N O
O
: :
:

-
8
Write a Lewis structure for NO
2
.
-
3
NO .
Step 5. One pair of electrons is still needed to
give all the N and O atoms a noble gas
structure. Move the unbonded pair of
electrons from the N atom and place it
between the N and the electron-deficient O
atom, making a double bond.
N
O
:

:
O
:

:
:

O
:

:
:

:

-
9
A molecule or ion that shows multiple
correct Lewis structures exhibits resonance.
Write a Lewis structure for NO
2
.
-
3
NO .
Step 5. There are three possible Lewis
structures.
N
O
:

:
O
:

:
:

O
:

:
:

:

-
:
N
O
:

:
O
:

:

O
:

:
:

:

-
Each Lewis structure is called a resonance
structure.
N
O
:

:
O
:

:
:

O
:

:
:

:

-
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A molecule or ion that shows multiple
correct Lewis structures exhibits resonance.
Write a Lewis structure for NO
2
.
-
3
NO .
Step 5. There are three possible Lewis
structures.
N
O
:

:
O
:

:
:

O
:

:
:

:

-
:
N
O
:

:
O
:

:

O
:

:
:

:

-
Each Lewis structure is called a resonance
structure.
N
O
:

:
O
:

:
:

O
:

:
:

:

-
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Compounds Containing
Polyatomic Ions
12
A polyatomic ion is a stable group of atoms
that has either a positive or negative charge
and behaves as a single unit in many chemical
reactions.
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Sodium nitrate, NaNO
3
, contains one sodium
ion and one nitrate ion.
sodium ion Na
+

-
3
NO nitrate ion
N
O
:

:
O
:

:
:

O
:

:
:

:

-
Na
+
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The nitrate ion is a polyatomic ion
composed of one nitrogen atom and three
oxygen atoms.
N
O
:

:
O
:

:
:

O
:

:
:

:

-
Na
+
It has a charge of 1
One nitrogen and three oxygen atoms
have a total of 23 valence electrons.
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The 1 charge on nitrate adds an additional
valence electron for a total of 24.
N
O
:

:
O
:

:
:

O
:

:
:

:

-
Na
+
The additional valence electron comes
from a sodium atom which becomes a
sodium ion.
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Sodium nitrate has both ionic and covalent
bonds.
N
O
:

:
O
:

:
:

O
:

:
:

:

-
Na
+
Ionic bonds exist between the sodium
ions and the carbonate ions.
covalent
bond
covalent
bond
covalent
bond
ionic bond
Covalent bonds are present between
the carbon and oxygen atoms within
the carbonate ion.
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When sodium nitrate is dissolved in water,
the ionic bond breaks.
N
O
:

:
O
:

:
:

O
:

:
:

:

-
Na
+
The sodium ions and nitrate ions separate
from each other forming separate sodium
and nitrate ions.
N
O
:

:
O
:

:
:

O
:

:
:

:

-
Na
+
The nitrate ion, which is held together by
covalent bonds, remains as a unit.
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Molecular Shape
19
The 3-dimensional arrangement of the atoms
within a molecule is a significant determinant
of molecular interactions.
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11.12
21
The Valence Shell
Electron Pair (VSEPR)
Model
22
The VSEPR model is based on the idea
that electron pairs will repel each other
electrically and will seek to minimize this
repulsion.
To accomplish this minimization, the
electron pairs will be arranged as far
apart as possible around a central atom.
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BeCl
2
is a molecule with only two pairs of
electrons around beryllium, its central
atom.
Its electrons are arranged 180
o
apart for
maximum separation.
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BF
3
is a molecule with three pairs of electrons
around boron, its central atom.
Its electrons are arranged 120
o
apart for
maximum separation.
This arrangement of atoms is called trigonal
planar.
25
CH
4
is a molecule with four pairs of electrons
around carbon, its central atom.
An obvious choice for its atomic
arrangement is a 90
o
angle between its
atoms with all of its atoms in a single plane.
However, since the molecule is 3-dimensional
the molecular structure is tetrahedral with a
bond angle of 109.5
o
.
26
Ball and stick models of methane, CH
4
, and carbon
tetrachloride, CCl
4
.
11.13
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Ammonia, NH
3
, has four electron pairs
around nitrogen.
The arrangement
of electron pairs
around nitrogen is
tetrahedral.
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The NH
3
molecule
is pyramidal.
NH
3
has one
unbonded pair
of electrons.
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Water has four electron pairs around
oxygen.
The arrangement
of electron pairs
around oxygen is
tetrahedral.
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The H
2
O

molecule
is bent.
H
2
O

has two
unbonded pairs
of electrons.
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