Nitrogen is one of the many common elements on Earth, and it is one of countless nonmetals. It has an atomic variety of seven, an interpretation a nitrogen atom has seven proton (and 7 electrons). Nitrogen is a gas in ~ room temperature. In certain scenarios, it can be very dangerous, however it has some fascinating chemical properties we will explore in this article. The write-up is a great review of many more comprehensive topics in chemistry, however here they are applied to chemicals with nitrogen. We will not go into much depth of exactly how those principles work, but will focus on what they aid us come understand about nitrogen.

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Valence shell Electrons

The external orbital that a nitrogen atom, the (p^2) orbital, can carry up to 6 electrons, as with all other (p) orbitals. However, a nitrogen atom will certainly only have three of these slot filled. When reacting with various other chemicals, it will certainly often try to take it electrons from other atoms/ions to acquire a complete octet. Therefore, the (N^3-) ion (called the nitride ion) is the most usual ion developed from a solitary nitrogen atom.

However, depending upon the surroundings, the nitrogen atom may communicate with an additional atom that is much less stable without three or also five added electrons that nitrogen has. So, although that is much rarer than a nitrogen atom acquiring three electrons and also becoming (N^3-), that can also lose 3 or five electrons to type one of two cations: (N^3+) or (N^5+). Chances are, if you space a student, your teacher will only expect girlfriend to understand that the (N^3-) ion exists, however trying to explain why the various other two nitrogen ion can type is a an excellent review of how orbitals work.

Example 1:If (Ca_xN_y) is an ionic compound, what are the most likely values the (x) and also (y)?

Solution:Calcium does not generally form any ion besides (+2) cations. Due to the fact that this is one ionic compound, the nitrogen need to be the (-3) ion to provide the compound a neutral charge. The takes 3 calcium cations come balance the charge of 2 nitride anions, therefore the chemical formula is (Ca_3N_2). In this compound, referred to as calcium nitride, (x = 3) and (y = 2).

Nitrogen together a Diatmoic Element

Nitrogen is one of a few elements that exists in a diatomic form. The is, its natural elemental form is 2 atoms external inspection together. The Lewis framework for element nitrogen, (N_2), is below:


This molecule shows some very important patterns worrying nitrogen in chemical bonding: in perfectly stable molecules, every nitrogen atom will have actually three bonding bag of electrons and also one lone pair. Nitrogen behaves in this method in stimulate to case a full outer valence shell of electrons. Through two electrons it keeps for itself and six the it shares with another atom, that provides eight electrons total. Therefore this type of nitrogen is much more stable than a solitary atom that nitrogen, which only has five valence electrons and must reaction with another chemical to end up being stable.

In one of two people case, however, the oxidation variety of the nitrogen atom is (0).

Nitrogen Oxyanions

Nitrogen likewise has a family members of oxyanions. The 2 in this team are the nitrate ion, (NO_3^-), and also the nitrite ion, (NO_2^-). Either of these can type acids or ionic compounds, much like nitride ions.

Example 2a:Calcium Nitrate has actually a chemical formula of (Ca(NO_3)_2). Similarly, Calcium Nitrite has a chemical formula the (Ca(NO_2)_2).

Example 2b:Either oxyanion of nitrogen can covalently bond with one hydrogen cation to kind an acid.

Formation the nitric acid:

$$H^+ + NO_3^- ightarrow HNO_3$$

Formation the nitrous acid:

$$H^+ + NO_2^- ightarrow HNO_2$$

Other Chemicals through Nitrogen

There room a pair major chemicals with nitrogen that have not currently been mentioned.

The first is azide, (N_3^-):


Some that the nitrogen atoms have an unfavorable formal charges and also some have actually positive formal charges. However, the complete charge of the molecule is negative.

Example 3a:Being one anion, azide periodically joins up with cations to form ionic compounds. One instance is salt azide, (NaN_3).

Example 3b:Azide anions can additionally combine through hydrogen cations to form (HN_3), recognized as azidic acid:


There are also three other related anions that contain carbon and also nitrogen: cyanide ((CN^-)), cyanate ((CNO^-)), and thiocyanate ((CNS^-)). The Lewis framework for cyanide is displayed below.


All 3 of this can kind ionic compounds and also acids together well. Relocating down the team of the regular table include oxygen and also sulfur, we can say, in theory, the if (CNSe^-) and (CNTe^-) exist, they would essentially have the same valence-shell electron orientation together cyanate and thiocyanate. In various other words, there Lewis structures are almost identical. However, the visibility of these two last chemicals is unknown. The takeaway indigenous this conversation is the we can use the framework of the periodic table and also the knowledge of part existing chemistry to predict others that, in theory, might exist.

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Thanks come the app linked right here for giving Lewis framework images: