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Does anyone have a simpler method or clear trick to easily determining the dominant resonance structure of an ion by calculating the formal charges on the atom? or simply something that reminds them of the steps to achieving this?
I find that it's the easiest to remember the formula (FC=V-L+S/2), where the number of valence electrons is V, the number of of bonding electrons are S, and the number of lone pair electrons is L. A formal charge of 0 is the most stable.
You kind of just have to experiment a little bit. There's also an easier way to figure out formal charge- you just count the number of electrons the bonded atom controls (count a bond as one electron and a lone pair as two) and compare it to the number of valence electrons it normally has. If it controls more than it normally would have on its own, it has a negative formal charge equalling however many more electrons it has in its bonded state, and vice versa if it has fewer electrons than it normally would have (and a positive formal charge).
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