So you have seen the above image by now, right?
Let me explain the above image in short.
NO lewis structure has one Nitrogen atom (N) and one Oxygen atom (O) which contain a double bond between them. The Oxygen atom (O) has 2 lone pairs and the Nitrogen atom (N) has 1 lone pair as well as 1 unpaired electron.
If you haven’t understood anything from the above image of NO (nitric oxide or nitrogen monoxide) lewis structure, then just stick with me and you will get the detailed step by step explanation on drawing a lewis structure of NO.
So let’s move to the steps of drawing the lewis structure of NO.
Steps of drawing NO lewis structure
Step 1: Find the total valence electrons in NO molecule
In order to find the total valence electrons in NO (nitrogen monoxide) molecule, first of all you should know the valence electrons present in a single nitrogen atom as well as oxygen 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 oxygen using a periodic table.
Total valence electrons in NO 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 oxygen atom:
You can see the 6 valence electrons present in the oxygen atom as shown in the above image.
Total valence electrons in NO molecule = valence electrons given by 1 nitrogen atom + valence electrons given by 1 oxygen atom = 5 + 6 = 11.
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 NO (nitrogen monoxide). It has only two atoms, so you can select any of the atoms as a center atom.
Let’s assume the nitrogen atom as a central atom.
(You should assume the less electronegative atom as a center atom).
Step 3: Connect each atoms by putting an electron pair between them
Now in the NO molecule, you have to put the electron pairs between the nitrogen atom (N) and oxygen atom (O).
This indicates that the nitrogen (N) atom and oxygen (O) atom are chemically bonded with each other in a NO 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 atom.
Here in the sketch of NO molecule, we have assumed the nitrogen atom as a center atom. So the oxygen is the outer atom.
Hence you have to make the oxygen atom stable.
You can see in the below image that the oxygen atom is forming an octet and hence it is stable.
Also, in step 1 we have calculated the total number of valence electrons present in the NO molecule.
The NO molecule has a total 11 valence electrons and out of these, only 8 valence electrons are used in the above sketch.
So the number of electrons which are left = 11 – 8 = 3.
You have to put these 3 electrons (i.e 1 electron pair and 1 unpaired electron) on the nitrogen atom in the above sketch of NO molecule.
Now let’s proceed to the next step.
Step 5: Check the octet on the central atom. If it does not have octet, then shift the lone pair to form a double bond or triple bond.
In this step, you have to check whether the nitrogen atom (N) is stable or not.
In order to check the stability of the nitrogen (N) atom, we have to check whether it is forming an octet or not.
Unfortunately, the nitrogen atom is not forming an octet here. Nitrogen has only 5 electrons and it is unstable.
Now to make this nitrogen atom stable, you have to shift the electron pair from the oxygen atom so that the nitrogen atom can become more stable.
After shifting this electron pair, the nitrogen atom will get 2 more electrons and thus its total electrons will become 7.
You can see that nitrogen is not forming an octet (because it has 7 electrons). Now if you will further try to shift the electron pair, then there will be 7 + 2 = 9 electrons.
And nitrogen atom do not have the capacity to hold 9 electrons. Hence the above lewis structure of NO (with 7 electrons on nitrogen atom) is stable.
In the above lewis dot structure of NO, you can also represent each bonding electron pair (:) as a single bond (|). By doing so, you will get the following lewis structure of NO.
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:
|N2O lewis structure
|CH3OH lewis structure
|PCl3 lewis structure
|BCl3 lewis structure
|CF4 lewis structure
|XeF2 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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