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Are there any tips on knowing when a molecule will be a radical? I'm pretty comfortable with drawing lewis structures, but I haven't had much practice with radicals yet. Not sure if there is anything that would specifically show you it would have to be a radical/biradical. Thanks!
So usually I can tell a molecule is a radical when the counted up electron total is an odd number. Logically, before you even need to draw a lewis structure, there's bound to be a single electron with no pair if there's an odd number of electrons. For example, OH is counted up to be 7 electrons and after bonding with H, that leaves 5 electrons to surround around O leaving one electron to be by itself. I hope this helps!
I agree with Rich! A radical just means there's an unpaired electron left in the compound, so if you count up all the valence electrons of atoms included in a compound and it's an odd number, chances are it's a radical. It would probably be in a question asking about highly reactive substances or related concepts.
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