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Lewis Structure

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Submitted By chimoo1
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Drawing a Lewis Structure
Lewis structure is the structure of a molecule in which dots are used to show the electron position around the atoms that make up the molecule.
In order to produce the Lewis structure of a molecule, there are certain steps one needs to follow (they are five (5) in number). Basically what I will do is to use the molecule methane (CH4) as example to show you how to draw the Lewis structure of any molecule.
First Step
In order to produce the Lewis structure of methane, the first step is to count and determine the total valence electron present in methane (or any molecule of interest). Methane is made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms (CH4). The valence of carbon is 4 and that of hydrogen is 1. Since we have four hydrogen atoms in methane, the total valence electron in methane will be:
4 for carbon+1×4 for hydrogen=8(for methane)
This implies that methane has 8 electrons or (4 electrons, when in pairs; electrons are always in pairs in atoms – Pauli’s exclusion principle)
Second Step
In the second step, the atoms that make up methane should be arranged in such a way that the one with the lowest affinity for electrons becomes the central atom. It is also important to note that hydrogen (H) atom is never a central atom. The atomic arrangement looks like:

In the figure above, carbon is the central atom.
Third Step
In the third step, we need to insert all the pairs of electron (in the form of dots) between the pairs of atoms that are supposed to be bonded to each other. In the case of methane we will have something that looks like:

The dots signify electrons, which are in pairs. If we count the total, it should give us the value we calculated in the first step = 8.
Fourth Step
The fourth step is to check for octet rule (meaning that each atom must have eight pairs of electrons – this rule does not work for hydrogen and some other…...

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