Drawing the Lewis Structure for NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide)

Viewing Notes:

  • The Lewis structure for NO2 requires you to place fewer than 8 valence electrons on Nitrogen (N). Nitrogen will only have 7 valence electrons but this is the best we can do with this Lewis structure.
  • If you check the formal charges for the NO2 Lewis structure you'll find that N had a formal charge of -1, the O with a single bond has a -1 formal charge, and the O with a double bond is zero.
  • NO2 has a total of 17 valence electrons.

Transcript: This is the NO2 Lewis structure. For NO2, we have 5 valence electrons with the Nitrogen; plus 6 for the Oxygen, we have 2 Oxygens. So 5 plus 12 equals 17 valence electrons. Nitrogen is the least electronegative, so we'll put that in the center, and let's put an Oxygen on either side. We have 17 total valence electrons for NO2. We'll put two between atoms to form a chemical bond. Let's go around the Oxygens, form octets. So we have 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and we have one more, we'll just put it right here.

At this point, we've used all 17 valence electrons. This Oxygen right here has 8, and this here has 8. So the octets are fulfilled for the Oxygens. For the Nitrogen, however, we only have 5 valence electrons. We can take these two valence electrons here and move them between the Nitrogen and the Oxygen to form a double bond. Now we still have 8 on this Oyxgen here. For the Nitrogen we have 7. For the NO2 Lewis structure, that's the closest we're going to get to having an octet for the Nitrogen atom.

So this is the Lewis structure for NO2. This is Dr. B., thanks for watching.