NH2O- Lewis Structure & Characteristics (13 Helpful Facts)

NH2Ois a molecule that is similar to hydroxyl amine with one proton lost and has a molecular weight of 32 g/mol. Let us discuss more relevant facts about NH2O.

NH2Ois a white crystalline solid that is widely used in organic synthesis as a weak base for many aldehyde conversion reaction. It is widely used in polymer synthesis like Nylon-6. It can be produced from NH2OH when it dissolves in a highly acidic solution.

NH2Ois found to play an important role in nitrification. Let us study more details about NH2Olike valence electrons, lewis structure, lone pairs and other characteristics.

How to draw NH2O- lewis structure?

Lewis structure is a simple method to represent the skeletal electronic structure of a molecule that takes into account valence electrons. Let us learn ways to draw the steps.

Counting the total valence electrons

It is important to know the ground state electronic configuration of the participating atoms to count the total valence electrons. The outermost state of H, N and O are 1s1, 2s22p3 and 2s22p4. Two H atoms gives 2 valence electrons, N and O gives a total of 11 valence electrons.

So, a total of 13 plus one extra electron due to negative charge is the available valence electrons to draw NH2O lewis structure.

Selecting the central atom

N is chosen as the central atom as it is lower in electronegativity than O. H is not chosen as the central atom as though it has low electronegativity, it can form only bonds so covalency is also a deciding factor in selecting the central atom. N can form at least 3 covalent bonds.

The electronegativity of the participating atoms N, H and O are 3.04, 2.2 and 3.44 of which N is best suited for being the central atom.

Drawing and forming bonds

Between central atom and any other atom attached to the same, one pair of electron is put. As such, 3 bonding pairs are assigned between N-H, N-O, N-H. 6 valence electrons are used from a total of 14. Rest 8 valence electrons will stay as non bonding pair of electrons.

Assigning the remaining valence electrons

The remaining 8 valence electrons are assigned as lone pairs of electrons on N and O atoms. N apart from 3 bonding pairs requires another 2 electrons to complete its octet. And O requires 6 electrons to complete its octet as well. So, those electrons reside as lone pairs of electrons on O and N.

NH2O- lewis structure
Construction of NH2O lewis structure

NH2O lewis structure shape

Shape of a molecule is the overall structure taken up by a molecule that depends only on the total bonding pairs involved. Let us discuss the shape of NH2Oin details.

The shape of NH2Ois trigonal pyramidal. Its molecular geometry involves 4 bonding pairs but the shape involves only 3 bonding pairs which are arranged in pyramidal fashion to prevent repulsion among the lone and bond pairs. The lone pair on N does not contribute to the overall shape.

If an atom was connected to N in place of lone pair, the shape would have been tetrahedral.

Trigonal pyramidal shape of NH2O

NH2O lewis structure formal charge

Formal charge is the hypothetical electric charge assigned to every covalently bonded atom providing the electrons from the bonds are shared equally. Let us study in details.

The formal charge of NH2O is 0 which has been calculated using the formula ‘Formal charge = (Number of valence electrons in a free atom of the element) – (Number of unshared electrons on the atom) – (Number of bonds to the atom)’.

  • Formal charge of N = 5-2-3= 0
  • Formal charge of H = 1-0-1 = 0
  • Formal charge of O = 6-6-1 = -1
  • The electric charge of the overall NH2O molecule is -1.
  • It is a charged and not a neutral molecule.

NH2O lewis structure octet rule

Octet rule states that every atom tries to adopt an inert shell configuration to gain stability by taking 8 electrons in its shell. Let us see if NH2O follows octet rule.

NH2Ofollows octet rule. Every atom in this molecule has a complete inert shell configuration. N has exactly 8 electrons in its subshell including the 3 bonding and 1 non bonding electron pairs. O has exactly 8 electrons in its surrounding with 1 bonding and 3 non bonding electron pairs.

H does not have 8 electrons but its octet is complete as it can take a maximum of 2 electrons which is done by forming a single covalent bond.

NH2Olewis structure lone pairs

Lone pairs are those electron pairs that do not participate in any chemical bond formation. Now we shall study how to calculate lone pairs.

NH2Olewis structure has a total of 4 lone pairs of electrons. N has one lone pair of electrons. O has a total of 3 lone pairs of electrons. These lone pairs do not undergo delocalization and stay localized on the respective atoms. These 4 lone pairs are non bonding in nature.

Total lone pairs or non bonding electrons in NH2Ocan be easily found by subtracting total bonding electrons from total valence electrons which is 14-6=8.

NH2Ovalence electrons

Valence electrons are the loosely bounded outermost shell electrons that are used to form any covalent or ionic chemical bonds. Let us study more in details below.

NH2Ohas a total of 14 valence electrons. The valence electrons can be easily calculated using the ground state electronic configuration of individual atoms. N, O and H has outer shell electronic state as 2s22p3, 2s22p4 and 1s1.

The loosely bounded electrons to the nuclei in 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p and 1s are the valence electrons of which N has 5, O has 6 and each of the two H atoms has 1 valence electrons.


Hybridization is a phenomenon in valence bond theory where the atomic orbitals of all the participating atoms overlap effectively. Let us study more facts below.

NH2Ohas sp3 hybridization.  The molecular geometry due to its sp3 hybridization is tetrahedral which means it has 4 electron pairs. The hybridization takes in to account both bonding and non-bonding pairs. The four subshells of N (2pz, 2px, 2py, 2s) undergo hybridization with the atomic orbitals of H and O.

Is NH2Opolar or nonpolar?

Polarity of any molecule depends on its electronegativity, distance between the connected atoms and charge. Let us find out if NH2Ois polar or not.

NH2Ois a polar molecule. The polarity arises due to its trigonal pyramidal structure which gives rise to the asymmetrical electronic cloud distribution. The dipole moment vectors of two N-H bonds plus the N-lone pair are smaller than the N-O bond dipole moment. These make net cancellation greater than 0.

The electronegativity of O is greater than N and the lone pair so it pulls the electron density of lone pair as well as N towards itself developing a partial negative charge.

The formation of partial positive and negative bonds result in forming a permanent dipole dipole interactions with other polar molecules.

Is NH2O acidic or basic?

Acid has a tendency to accept electrons or donate protons and base releases hydroxyl ion or donates electrons. Let us check if NH2Ois acid or base.

NH2Ois a base in the sense that it has lone pairs of electrons on O atom as well N atom that can donate electrons to an acid. It is a weak base with a very low pKa value. It does not completely dissociate in to its respective ions.

Is NH2O electrolyte?

An electrolyte is a chemical substance that consists of positive and negative radicals which re called cations and anions. Let us find out if NH2Ois an electrolyte or not.

NH2Ois not an electrolyte. Its conjugate acid, NH2OH is an electrolyte. It does not dissolve in to its individual cations or anions in solution due to its low dissociation energy.

NH2O solubility

Solubility of a compound depends on how tightly the ions are packed together, its hydration energy and lattice energy. Now we will study how solvents affect NH2O solubility.

NH2O is soluble in few polar solvents like

  • Ether
  • Water
  • Hydrochloric acid

NH2Ogets dissolved easily in polar solvents due to the polar nature it possesses. The hydration energy of NH2O is sufficient enough to break down the lattice structure. The positive, negative dipoles and the extra negative charge pulls towards polar molecules and develop strong dipole-dipole interactions.

These dipoles end attract polar molecules and surround it with them that makes it stable in solution.

Is NH2O ionic or covalent?

A covalent molecule is formed among non-metals with very low electronegativity difference whereas ionic compounds have high electronegativity difference. Let us discuss below.

NH2Ois a covalent molecule formed among non-metals like N, O and H. The electronegativity difference between N-H, N-O are also less than 1.5 which gives covalent character. Further, electron sharing takes place instead of electron transferring between N-H or N-O.


NH2Ois polar molecule that shows covalent character due to its non-metallic atoms. It is a trigonal pyramidal molecule that dissolves in polar solvents.

Also Read: