So you have seen the above image by now, right?
Let me explain the above image in short.
NI3 lewis structure has a Nitrogen atom (N) at the center which is surrounded by three Iodine atoms (I). There are 3 single bonds between the Nitrogen atom (N) and each Iodine atom (I). There is 1 lone pair on the Nitrogen atom (N) and 3 lone pairs on all three Iodine atoms (I).
If you haven’t understood anything from the above image of NI3 lewis structure, then just stick with me and you will get the detailed step by step explanation on drawing a lewis structure of NI3.
So let’s move to the steps of drawing the lewis structure of NI3.
Steps of drawing NI3 lewis structure
Step 1: Find the total valence electrons in NI3 molecule
In order to find the total valence electrons in a NI3 molecule, first of all you should know the valence electrons present in the nitrogen atom as well as iodine atom.
(Valence electrons are the electrons that are present in the outermost orbit of any atom.)
Here, I’ll tell you how you can easily find the valence electrons of nitrogen as well as iodine using a periodic table.
Total valence electrons in NI3 molecule
→ Valence electrons given by nitrogen atom:
You can see the 5 valence electrons present in the nitrogen atom as shown in the above image.
→ Valence electrons given by iodine atom:
You can see the 7 valence electrons present in the iodine atom as shown in the above image.
Total valence electrons in NI3 molecule = valence electrons given by 1 nitrogen atom + valence electrons given by 3 iodine atoms = 5 + 7(3) = 26.
Step 2: Select the central atom
For selecting the center atom, you have to remember that the atom which is less electronegative remains at the center.
Now here the given molecule is NI3 (nitrogen triiodide) and it contains nitrogen atom (N) and iodine atoms (I).
You can see the electronegativity values of nitrogen atom (N) and iodine atom (I) in the above periodic table.
If we compare the electronegativity values of nitrogen (N) and iodine (I) then the nitrogen atom is less electronegative.
So here the nitrogen atom (N) is the center atom and the iodine atoms (I) are the outside atoms.
Step 3: Connect each atoms by putting an electron pair between them
Now in the NI3 molecule, you have to put the electron pairs between the nitrogen atom (N) and iodine atoms (I).
This indicates that the nitrogen (N) and iodine (I) are chemically bonded with each other in a NI3 molecule.
Step 4: Make the outer atoms stable. Place the remaining valence electrons pair on the central atom.
Now in this step, you have to check the stability of the outer atoms.
Here in the sketch of NI3 molecule, you can see that the outer atoms are iodine atoms.
These outer iodine atoms are forming an octet and hence they are stable.
Also, in step 1 we have calculated the total number of valence electrons present in the NI3 molecule.
The NI3 molecule has a total 26 valence electrons and out of these, only 24 valence electrons are used in the above sketch.
So the number of electrons which are left = 26 – 24 = 2.
You have to put these 2 electrons on the central nitrogen atom in the above sketch of NI3 molecule.
Now let’s proceed to the next step.
Step 5: Check the octet on the central atom
In this step, you have to check whether the central nitrogen atom (N) is stable or not.
In order to check the stability of the central nitrogen (N) atom, we have to check whether it is forming an octet or not.
You can see from the above picture that the nitrogen atom is forming an octet. That means it has 8 electrons.
And hence the central nitrogen atom is stable.
Now let’s proceed to the final step to check whether the lewis structure of NI3 is stable or not.
Step 6: Check the stability of lewis structure
Now you have come to the final step in which you have to check the stability of lewis structure of NI3.
The stability of lewis structure can be checked by using a concept of formal charge.
In short, now you have to find the formal charge on nitrogen (N) atom as well as iodine (I) atoms present in the NI3 molecule.
For calculating the formal charge, you have to use the following formula;
Formal charge = Valence electrons – (Bonding electrons)/2 – Nonbonding electrons
For Nitrogen (N) atom:
Valence electrons = 5 (because nitrogen is in group 15)
Bonding electrons = 6
Nonbonding electrons = 2
For Iodine (I) atom:
Valence electrons = 7 (because iodine is in group 17)
Bonding electrons = 2
Nonbonding electrons = 6
From the above calculations of formal charge, you can see that the nitrogen (N) atom as well as iodine (I) atom has a “zero” formal charge.
This indicates that the above lewis structure of NI3 is stable and there is no further change in the above structure of NI3.
In the above lewis dot structure of NI3, you can also represent each bonding electron pair (:) as a single bond (|). By doing so, you will get the following lewis structure of NI3.
I hope you have completely understood all the above steps.
For more practice and better understanding, you can try other lewis structures listed below.
Try (or at least See) these lewis structures for better understanding:
|CH2F2 lewis structure
|CH3- lewis structure
|I2 lewis structure
|ICl3 lewis structure
|NOF lewis structure
|ClF5 lewis structure
Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. He is a founder of Pediabay and is passionate about helping students through his easily digestible explanations.
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