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Determining most stable Lewis structure

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:45 pm
by Hannah Lee 2F
When determining the most stable structure, does symmetry or formal charge come first?

For instance, for question 2B15) which asked to draw ClNO2, I mistakenly drew the Cl attached to the oxygen instead of the nitrogen, making an L-shape, because I thought that each atom's formal charge had to amount to zero. However, is symmetry more important?

Re: Determining most stable Lewis structure

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:48 pm
by Ethan Lam 4A
Symmetry and formal charge are equally important. In question 2B.15, they say that N is the central atom.

Re: Determining most stable Lewis structure

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:50 pm
by Catherine Daye 1L
Although they are both important, formal charge is slightly more important. Not all lewis structures will be symmetrical.

Re: Determining most stable Lewis structure

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:51 pm
by AnnikaMittelhauser4E
The least electronegative atom (in this case, nitrogen) being the central atom is also important.

Re: Determining most stable Lewis structure

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:00 pm
by Karina Kong 2H
In general they are both important. But regarding formal, you'd want to spread it out than have it condensed into one atom/side.

Re: Determining most stable Lewis structure

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:31 pm
by Kavee Dodampahala 4E
Formal charge is the most important in determining the most stable structure.