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Procedures for Drawing Correct Lewis

Electron-dot Structures
Follow these simple steps....
#1. Important to start with the correct atom-to-atom connectivity...
which atoms are connected to form the molecule this is essential.
# 2. Add up the total number of valence es from all the atoms in the
molecule, then divide by 2 to obtain the number of pairs of electrons.
If the species has a + charge, subtract 1 e from the total electron sum.
If it has a charge, add 1 e to the total.

**Think in terms of e-pairs, not single es!**


# 3. Start by connecting all atoms with a single line (the bonds) and then
use up the remaining e-pairs to give octets to all atomsC, N, O, X
(except Hs) this is done by adding unshared es to some atoms
and bonds between others.
# 4. Finish up by designating formal charges where appropriate. Check to
confirm that all atoms have octets.
Number of es an atom formally owns =
2 for each lone pair + 1 for each bond.
Compare this with number of valence es (C = 4, N = 5, O = 6, X = 7, etc)...
if larger by 1, then FC = -1, if smaller by 1, FC = +1. Most FCs are +/- 1.
If es formally owned is same as # valence es, then FC = 0.
A simple formal charge example is on page 2 and lots of practice
questions (answers too) on the formal charge worksheet.

More than 8 es
The 8-e octet rule is strictly held for atoms in the 2nd period of the
periodic tableB, C, N, O, F, Ne.
For atoms in the 3rd period, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, the octet rule is not strictly held
and one can have structures with expanded octets. For example, the
two e-dot structures illustrated for sulfuric acid, H 2SO4 are both validone
has just 8-es on S and the other has 12 es. They can be viewed as
resonance structures.

Beware: things to watch out for....


If the species contains a group I or II element (1 st or 2nd column of PT),
such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc, represent these
species as cations (eg, Na+, K+, Mg+2, Ca+2).
In a few cases, there may not be enough es to give all non-Hs an octet.
Often happens with boron. B in BH3 has only 6 es. B in NaBH4 is OK.
If total number of es is odd, dividing by 2 will give a result that is not an
integer, such as 8.5. This means that 8 e pairs are available and there will
be 1 unshared e. In this case, all atoms will not have satisfied octets.
Most often happens with species that contain atoms with an odd number of
Ns, such as NO2. See example # 1 on page 4.

Unsaturation number (U)....


U is sum of rings + -bonds in a molecule.
For a C, H, N, X containing molecule of CnHmOpNaXb
(if molecule contains P, add a term similar to Na)
U = [(2n+2 + a - b) m]/2 correction term for O not needed
C8H7N2OBr3 U = [(2*8+2 + 2 - 3) 7]/2 = 5

Two detailed examples follow


# 1 NO2

# 2 MgCO3

an ionic compound

Draw complete e-dot structures for CH2N2, CH3N2+, CH3NO2, KSCN,


CH3CO2H (AcOH) and NaOAc.
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