Method for Lewis dot structures: The nitrate ion #56

Lewis Dot Structure of the Nitrate ion NO3-
A simple procedure for writing Lewis Dot Structures was given in a previous article entitled “Lewis Structures and the Octet Rule”.
Several worked examples relevant to this procedure were given in previous posts please see the Sitemap - Table of Contents (Lewis Electron Dot Structures).

Let us consider the case of the nitrate ion. The molecular formula is NO3-.
Step 1: Connect the atoms with single bonds

Fig. 1 : Connect the atoms of NO3- with single bonds
Fig. 1 : Connect the atoms of NO3- with single bonds

Step 2:  Calculate the # of electrons in π bonds (multiple bonds) using  formula (1):

Where n in this case is 4. Where V = (5 +6*3) – (-1) = 24 , V is the number of valence electrons of the nitrate ion.
Therefore, P = 6n + 2 – V = 6 * 4 + 2 – 24  = 2     So, there is 1 double bond.

Step 3 & 4: The  dot resonance structures of  NO3-  areas follows:

Fig. 2 : Plausible Lewis Resonance Dot Structures of NO3-   

Therefore, there are 3 possible Lewis resonance structures for NO3-

The above simple four-step method for drawing Lewis structures is presented in the following video:



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  1. what is the Lewis structure of NO?

    1. Please see the following post:

  2. Which of the above structures contributes more to the resonance?

    1. The above resonance structures are all equivalent because of the same charge separation and bond order. They are all contribute equally to the resonance.