Lewis Structure of CH3NO2 (With 5 Simple Steps to Draw!)

Lewis Structure of CH3NO2

I’m super excited to teach you the lewis structure of CH3NO2 molecule in just 5 simple steps.

Infact, I’ve also given the step-by-step images for drawing the lewis dot structure of CH3NO2 molecule.

So, if you are ready to go with these 5 simple steps, then let’s dive right into it!

Lewis structure of CH3NO2 contains three C-H bonds, and a NO2 group attached to carbon. The Carbon atom (C) is at the center and it is surrounded by three Hydrogen atoms (H) and one NO2 group. The double bonded oxygen atom has 2 lone pairs and the single bonded oxygen has 3 lone pairs.

Let’s draw and understand this lewis dot structure step by step.

(Note: Take a pen and paper with you and try to draw this lewis structure along with me. I am sure you will definitely learn how to draw lewis structure of CH3NO2).

5 Steps to Draw the Lewis Structure of CH3NO2

Step #1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons

Here, the given molecule is CH3NO2. In order to draw the lewis structure of CH3NO2, first of all you have to find the total number of valence electrons present in the CH3NO2 molecule.
(Valence electrons are the number of electrons present in the outermost shell of an atom).

So, let’s calculate this first.

Calculation of valence electrons in CH3NO2

  • For Carbon:

Carbon is a group 14 element on the periodic table.

Hence, the valence electrons present in carbon is 4 (see below image).

  • For Hydrogen: 

Hydrogen is a group 1 element on the periodic table.

Hence, the valence electron present in hydrogen is 1 (see below image).

  • For Nitrogen:

Nitrogen is a group 15 element on the periodic table.

Hence, the valence electrons present in nitrogen is 5 (see below image).

  • For Oxygen:

Oxygen is a group 16 element on the periodic table.

Hence, the valence electron present in oxygen is 6 (see below image).

Hence in a CH3NO2 molecule, 

Valence electrons given by Carbon (C) atom = 4
Valence electron given by each Hydrogen (H) atom = 1
Valence electrons given by Nitrogen (N) atom = 5
Valence electrons given by each Oxygen (O) atom = 6
So, total number of Valence electrons in CH3NO2 molecule = 4 + 1(3) + 5 + 6(2) = 24

Step #2: Select the center atom (H is always outside)

While selecting the center atom, always put the least electronegative atom at the center.

(Remember: Fluorine is the most electronegative element on the periodic table and the electronegativity decreases as we move right to left in the periodic table as well as top to bottom in the periodic table).

Here in the CH3NO2 molecule, if we compare the carbon atom (C), hydrogen atom (H), nitrogen atom (N) and oxygen atom (O), then hydrogen is less electronegative. But as per the rule, we have to keep hydrogen outside.

So, carbon (which is less electronegative than nitrogen and oxygen) should be placed in the center and the remaining hydrogen atoms as well as the NO2 group will surround it.

step 1

Step #3: Put two electrons between the atoms to represent a chemical bond

Now in the above sketch of CH3NO2 molecule, put the two electrons (i.e electron pair) between each atom to represent a chemical bond between them.

step 2

These pairs of electrons present between these atoms form a chemical bond, which bonds these atoms with each other in a CH3NO2 molecule.

Step #4: Complete the octet (or duplet) on outside atoms

Don’t worry, I’ll explain!

In the Lewis structure of CH3NO2, the outer atoms are hydrogen atoms as well as oxygen atoms.

Hydrogen already has a duplet (see below image).

So now, you have to complete the octet on oxygen atom (because oxygen requires 8 electrons to have a complete outer shell).

step 3

Now, you can see in the above image that the oxygen atom forms an octet.

Also, all the 24 valence electrons of CH3NO2 molecule (as calculated in step #1) are used in the above structure. So there are no remaining electron pairs.

Hence there is no change in the above sketch of CH3NO2.

Let’s move to the next step.

Step #5: Check whether the central atom has octet or not. If it does not have an octet, then move the electron pair from the outer atom to form a double bond or triple bond

In this step, we have to check whether the carbon and nitrogen atom has an octet or not.

In simple words, we have to check whether these atoms have 8 electrons or not.

step 4

As you can see from the above image, carbon atom forms an octet. But the nitrogen atom has only 6 electrons. So it does not fulfill the octet rule.

Now, in order to fulfill the octet of nitrogen atom, we have to move the electron pair from the outer atom (i.e oxygen atom) to form a double bond.

step 5

Now you can see from the above image that the nitrogen atom is having 8 electrons. So it fulfills the octet rule.

This indicates that the above lewis dot structure of CH3NO2 is the stable lewis structure.

Each electron pair (:) in the lewis dot structure of CH3NO2 represents the single bond ( | ). So the above lewis dot structure of CH3NO2 can also be represented as shown below.

CH3NO2 Lewis structure

Related lewis structures for your practice:
Lewis Structure of AsH3
Lewis Structure of SeF6
Lewis Structure of AsF3
Lewis Structure of KrF2
Lewis Structure of SO2Cl2 

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