Skip to main content
Pearson+ LogoPearson+ Logo
Start typing, then use the up and down arrows to select an option from the list.

Lewis Dot Structures: Exceptions

Jules Bruno
Was this helpful?
So some of you may have heard of the term free radicals. When discussing health and nutrition, we know that free radicals can damage healthy cells within our bodies. But what is a free radical look like? Well free radicals are just molecules or ions with an unpaid aired electron around an element In this case, we have this unpaid electron on the nitrogen atom. We're gonna say radicals, radicals or compounds Radical compounds always have an odd number off total valence electrons nitrogen in group five days. So it has five oxygen's group 68 so it has six. So this molecule has a total of 11 total valence electrons. Now, we're gonna say to draw to draw it, you place the electron on the element that gives least formal charges. So if we took the formal charge of nitrogen and oxygen, remember, formal charge equals group number minus the bonds. The element is making plus non bonding electrons. So nitrogen is in group five A. So it has five valence electrons. We see it making to bonds, and it has three electrons, so it equals zero. Oxygen is in Group six A. We see it making to bonds and it has four electrons that are not bonding, so it is also equal to zero. So both molecules have zero formal charges. Remember, we want to get all our Adams, if possible, within the lewis dot structure, as close to zero as possible. This gives us the best representation for particular molecule. Now again, the giveaway that we're dealing with the radical is when you calculate the total number of valence electrons and you get back in odd value, this is usually a strong indication that a radical maybe present, so play around and see what makes the most sense in terms of the free radical compound.