Lewis structure of dinitrogen trioxide

Chemistry Asked by Rasputin on December 10, 2020

I have a confusion related to the structure of $ce{N2O3}.$ I was taught 1 is the correct one, but I believe 2 is better since it has no formal charge on it. Why is 1 correct and 2 wrong?

Structures of N2O3

2 Answers

What really happens in nature has higher priority than our believe what happens or should happen. See Dinitrogen_trioxide with the structure, bond lengths and angles.

Be aware both $ce{NO}$ and $ce{NO2}$ are radicals with an unpaired electron.

$ce{N2O3}$ being( $ce{ON-NO2}$ ) as 2 paired radicals is the direct analogy
to the dimer $ce{N2O4}$ being $ce{O2N-NO2}$, both being formed at low temperatures.

Correct answer by Poutnik on December 10, 2020

I think you assume that Nitrogen Sesquioxide is formed by a dehydration reaction of an acid of Nitrogen, hence necessitating the presence of a bridged oxygen. This isn't the case. It is created due to the addition of the radical on the Nitrogen of $ce{NO}$ to the radical on the Nitrogen on $ce{NO2}$. Hence why the structure is the way it is.

Answered by Andrew Starfire on December 10, 2020

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