Central atom: formal charge v electronegativity


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madawy
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:17 am

Central atom: formal charge v electronegativity

Postby madawy » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:30 pm

When determining the central atom of a lewis structure, is formal charge more important than which atom is most electronegative ??

Ryan Yee 1J
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Central atom: formal charge v electronegativity

Postby Ryan Yee 1J » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:36 pm

No, the least electronegative atom goes in the center, but in general, when making possible lewis diagrams for the molecule, you would want this central atom to have a formal charge of 0.

Matthew Chan 1B
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Central atom: formal charge v electronegativity

Postby Matthew Chan 1B » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:25 pm

You should put the more electronegative element in the center, and then try and minimize formal charges of that atom and the atoms that surround it.

Cynthia Gong 1L
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Central atom: formal charge v electronegativity

Postby Cynthia Gong 1L » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:48 pm

The least electronegative atom goes in the center since it is less likely to interact with the electrons in surrounding molecules. The more electronegative atoms typically go on the outside. It is ideal if all the formal charges are 0, but if that is not possible then negative formal charges should be assigned to the more electronegative atoms on the outside.


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