Hybridization of NO2+ and NO2-

Hybridization is part of the Valence Bond Theory (!= Molecular Orbital Theory). It is used to explain the geometry of a molecule.

First, draw the Lewis structures of both the nitronium ion (NO2+) and the nitrite ion (NO2-):

NO2+
nitronium_ion_lewis_structure

NO2-
nitrite_ion_lewis_structure

NO2+ forms two bonds (double/triple bonds count only once). Therefore, hybridize the s and one p orbital. The molecule has four outer electrons, so two go into the hybridized orbitals to form sigma-bonds. Pluck the other two into the remaining two p orbitals, which will form pi-bonds. Two hybridized orbitals means sp1 = linear molecule.

NO2- also forms two bonds. However, it has six outer electrons (two build a lone pair), and therefore, we hybridize the s and two p orbitals. Ergo, you get sp2 = a trigonal-planar shape.

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One Response to “Hybridization of NO2+ and NO2-”

  1. amishx64 Says:

    Thanks for the explanation!

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