Published on February 23, 2014
Lewis structures Writing Lewis structures, part 1 CC image courtesy of Hiro Sheridan on Flickr
Lewis Structures Lewis structures are representations of covalent molecules showing all electrons, bonding and nonbonding.
How to write a Lewis Structure 1. PCl3 5 + 3(7) = 26 Find the sum of valence electrons of all atoms in the polyatomic ion or molecule. If it’s an anion, add one electron for each negative charge. If it’s a cation, subtract one electron for each positive charge.
Writing Lewis Structures 2. Write the skeleton. The central atom is the least electronegative element that isn’t hydrogen. Keep track of the electrons: 26 − 6 = 20 Connect the outer atoms to it by single bonds.
Writing Lewis Structures 3. Fill the octets of the outer atoms. Keep track of the electrons: 26 − 6 = 20; 20 − 18 = 2 from bonds from octet LPs there are two remaining
Writing Lewis Structures 4. Add any leftover lone pairs to the central atom. Keep track of the electrons: 26 − 6 = 20; 20 − 18 = 2; 2 − 2 = 0 from bonds from octet LPs LP on central atom
Check for octets! All atoms have an octet. The structure is done
Learn more about introduction to lewis structures for covalent molecules in the Boundless open textbook.
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Lewis Structures: An Introduction Lewis structures show how the valence electrons of atoms in a molecule are arranged. These only apply to covalent ...