Drawing the Lewis Structure for N2

Viewing Notes:

  • Make sure you count the number of valence electrons correctly. Nitrogen is in group 5A (also called Group 15). Each Nitrogen atom has five valence electrons. Since there are two Nitrogen atoms in N2 you have a total of ten valence electrons to work with.
  • The Lewis Structure for N2 looks easy at first. The problem is that there aren't enough valence electons to give both Nitrogen atoms an octet. You'll need to use either a double or triple bond to solve that problem.

Transcript: For the N2 Lewis structure, we have five valence electrons for Nitrogen--it's in group 5 or 15 on the periodic table. We have two Nitrogens. Multiply those together, we have a total of 10 valence electrons for the N2 Lewis structure. We'll put the two Nitrogens next to each other, and then we'll put two valence electrons between them to form a chemical bond. We have a total of 10 valence electrons. We've used two, go around the outside, 4, 6, 8, and 10.

We can see the Nitrogen on the right has an octet, but the Nitrogen on the left only has four valence electrons. Let's take two valence electrons from this Nitrogen and put them here to form a double bond. You can see that the Nitrogen on the right has eight valence electrons, still. But now the Nitrogen on the left has six, so we're getting close.

Let's take these two valence electrons here and put them in the middle to form a triple bond. The Nitrogen on the right still is using eight valence electrons. Its octet is full. But now the Nitrogen on the left also has a full octet, and we're only using the 10 valence electrons that we have for the N2 Lewis structure.

So that's it: we used a triple bond to give octets to both of the Nitrogens and still use 10 valence electrons. This is Dr. B. with the Lewis structure for N2, and thanks for watching.