Drawing the Lewis Structure for NOCl

Viewing Notes:

  • The NOCl Lewis structure is very similar to NOF and NOBr.
  • In the NOCl Lewis structure Nitrogen (N) is the least electronegative atom and goes in the center of the Lewis structure.
  • Check the formal charges to be sure that each atom has a formal charge of zero.
  • In the Lewis structure for NOCl there are a total of 18 valence electrons.

Transcript: Let's do the NOCl Lewis structure. On the periodic table, Nitrogen's in group 5, sometimes called 15: 5 valence electrons. Oxygen, 6 valence electrons; and then Chlorine, 7 valence electrons; for a total of 18 valence electrons. Nitrogen is the least electronegative, that'll go in the center. We'll put an Oxygen on this side, and the Chlorine over here. We'll put two valence electrons between atoms to form chemical bonds; we've used 2, 4. Around the other atoms to get octets on those: so we have 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, over here, 12, 14, 16, and then the last two go on the Nitrogen.

At this point, the Oxygen and the Chlorine each have an octet; however, the Nitrogen only has six valence electrons. Let's move two valence electrons from the Oxygen to form a double bond with the Nitrogen. So the Oxygen still has eight valence electrons, but now the Nitrogen has eight, as does the Chlorine. So we've used all 18 valence electrons and each of the atoms has an octet, eight valence electrons. We did that by forming the double bond between the Oxygen and the Nitrogen. If you check the formal charges, you can see that this is the best structure for NOCl, and that the charges add up to zero.

This is Dr. B. with the Lewis structure for NOCl, and thanks for watching.