204929947
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:03 am

How do you know if a molecule is a radical? And what is special about these?

MariahClark 2F
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:04 am

A radical is when you count the number of valence electrons and there is an odd number, resulting in an unpaired electron. They are important because they influence the reactivity of a molecule.

Alicia Beebe
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:01 am

Would this make them more reactive since they desire to fill the octet rule? or is the point that them being a radical shows they aren't reactive?

KC Navarro_1H
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am

An easy way for me to tell if a molecule is a radical is calculating the number of electrons for each element within the molecule. If the sum comes out odd, the molecule is a radical.

For example, the molecule NO2 is a radical.

Nitrogen (N) = 5 electrons

Oxygen (O) = 6 electrons x 2 = 12 electrons

5 + 12 = 17 electrons, which makes NO2 a radical because one electron will be unpaired.

Visually, any unpaired electron (not a lone pair, just one single electron) tells you that it is a radical.

Radicals are typically unstable because all octets cannot be filled, and they would be more reactive because they really want to fill their octets so they can be more stable.

Hope this helps!