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Atomic Structure

What is a Nitrogen Molecule?

Nitrogen is a non-metal.
A nitrogen atom has 5 electrons in its outer shell.
Nitrogen is in group 5 of the periodic table.
Two nitrogen atoms will each share three electrons to form
three covalent bonds and make a nitrogen molecule  (N2).

This is a picture of a nitrogen molecule.

The Structure of a Nitrogen Molecule

By sharing the six electrons where the shells touch
each nitrogen atom can count 8 electrons in its outer shell.
These full outer shells with their shared electrons are now stable.
The N2
molecule will not react further with other nitrogen atoms.

Note the 3 pairs (6 electrons) shared between the atoms.
Each electron pair is one bond.
Nitrogen has three bonds between its atoms.
This is called a triple bond. The triple bond is very strong
and this is what makes nitrogen so unreactive (stable).

The structural formula of an nitrogen molecule is written

There are no ions present (no + or - charges) in nitrogen gas
because the electrons are shared,
not transferred from one atom to another.

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