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In Wednesday's lecture, Lavelle went over how radicals are exceptions to the octet rule. How do we identify whether a molecule is a radical or not? Would we just have to draw the Lewis dot structure? Thank you!
This was actually really helpful for me, because I didn't quite understand what a radical was. My follow up question is whether any element can be a radical or if only a certain group are radicals.
Often times, molecules that would have radicals are shown as ions to subtract or add electrons to get rid of the radical, however, if a molecule has an odd amount of electrons, you would know that there is a radical because there is one electron without another electron to form a bonding pair or a lone pair with.
I think that only atoms with unpaired valence electrons can be radicals since if they had only pairs of electrons but lost or gained some to be left with an unpaired electron, they'd become ions, which are not radicals. Keep in mind though that some of the elements that are naturally radicals form diatomic molecules because of their natural reactivity. A few examples would be the halogens, which all have an unpaired electron, or oxygen, which has two unpaired electrons.Shrinidhy Srinivas 1I wrote:This was actually really helpful for me, because I didn't quite understand what a radical was. My follow up question is whether any element can be a radical or if only a certain group are radicals.
Usually, when you count up the valence electrons and there is an odd number you will have a radical. You can see this when you draw out the lewis structure and there is a single unpaired electron represented by a dot.
The easiest way to identify a radical is to first count the amount of valence electrons. Once you do this, anytime you have an odd amount of electrons, it is a radical. But often, they can be balanced you may have just forgot to add or subtract electrons according to the charge.
Hi Kaitlyn. You can identify radicals by normally drawing out a Lewis structure and assigning formal charges to find the lowest formal charge. An example is laughing gas or nitric oxide (NO) and seeing that the lowest formal charge is when N has a radical.
Radicals are species that have electrons with unpaired spins, which means that they are not a part of a pair. This can be seen using a lewis structure. Radicals are also highly reactive and have a fleeting existence. Radicals also do not fulfill the octet rule because they do not have enough valence electrons to complete the octet.
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