Formal charges and stability


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Melody Haratian 2J
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:48 pm
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Formal charges and stability

Postby Melody Haratian 2J » Sun Nov 08, 2020 8:02 pm

Hi guys! I was working on some formal charge problems and had a quick question. When calculating formal charge, would an molecule with a charge of +2 be more stable if all of that charge was on one atom of the molecule, or would it be more stable if the charge was separated on two atoms, each with a +1 charge?
Thanks!

Blake Ballew 1H
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:35 pm

Re: Formal charges and stability

Postby Blake Ballew 1H » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:13 pm

Hello I'm not entirely sure how this works on a case by case basis but I do know if distributing them to two atoms breaks up an octet then it makes them less stable.

Hope this helps!

AlbertGu_2C
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:34 pm

Re: Formal charges and stability

Postby AlbertGu_2C » Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:12 pm

I think any charge that sums up to +2 should be counted the same in any configuration just based on the fact that it has charge as opposed to being neutral.

Jasmine Ho 3I
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:41 pm

Re: Formal charges and stability

Postby Jasmine Ho 3I » Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:23 pm

I think that since same charge particles repel each other, it would be lower energy if the charges were separated but I'm not completely sure.

Chinmayi Mutyala 3H
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:50 pm

Re: Formal charges and stability

Postby Chinmayi Mutyala 3H » Sun Nov 08, 2020 11:26 pm

It probably depends on the situation but I would say it's probably more stable to have it spread out since you don't want a lot of electrons in one region since that leads to electron-electron repulsions.

Carly_Lipschitz_3H
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:56 pm

Re: Formal charges and stability

Postby Carly_Lipschitz_3H » Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:32 am

I believe it would be more stable to have +1 on two atoms rather than +2 on one. Although the goal is to get as many formal charges equal to 0, I think it is more stable to have the electrons spread out more equally throughout the molecule.


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