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When writing lewis structures we put the atom with the lowest ionization energy in the center. For 3.33, part c asks for ONF. The answer shows that N is in the center, but doesn't O have a lower ionization energy? Can someone explain this.
N has a lower ionization energy than oxygen because it is more willing to give up its electrons. You can think about this relative to the noble gases, which have a full octet. The closer the atom is to the noble gas (having a full octet) the less willing it is to give up the electron. So, since nitrogen only has 5 electrons, whereas oxygen has 6, nitrogen is more willing to lose its electrons.
Using periodic trends this is true, but from what I remember those are only general trends and there are exceptions. Nitrogen has a half full shell which makes it more stable than Oxygen. This results in a slightly higher ionization energy for Nitrogen, because the Nitrogen wants to keep it's half full shell. Since Oxygen has a lower ionization energy it should be in the middle, but it is not. I am confused by this.
madisonhanson1b wrote:I thought you put the molecule with the lowest electronegativity in the center, are ionization energy and electronegativity the same thing?
My TA also said to put the least electronegative in the center, but professor Lavelle said in lecture to put the lowest ionization energy in the center. I'm not sure which one to use, although they have similar trends.
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