Drawing the Lewis Structure for NO

Viewing Notes:

  • The Lewis structure for NO requires you to place fewer than 8 valence electrons on Nitrogen (N).
  • You'll want to calculate the formal charges on each atom to make sure you have the best Lewis structure for NO. If you check the formal charges for each atom in the NO Lewis Structure as drawn in the video you'll find that they are zero for each atom.
  • NO has a total of 11 valence electrons.

Transcript: Let's do the NO Lewis structure. The periodic table tells us we have 5 valence electrons for Nitrogen, 6 for Oxygen, for a total of 11 valence electrons—which is kind of strange; we don't usually have odd numbers of valence electrons. Let's try it. We'll put the Nitrogen here and the Oxygen right here. Put a pair of electrons between the atoms and then around: so we've used 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and we have one more—let's just put it right here—11.

So Oxygen has 8 valence electrons. Nitrogen only has 5. So we can move these two here and share them, and that still gives us 8 around the Oxygen, and the Nitrogen has 7. We've used 11 valence electrons. This is probably the best that we can do. Let's check the formal charges and see if they work. So as you can see, the formal charges for both the Nitrogen and the Oxygen are zero.

That means that this is going to be the best Lewis structure for NO. This is Dr. B., and thanks for watching.