The **Lewis structure of N**_{3}** ^{–}** contains two double bonds between the three nitrogen atoms. The left nitrogen atom and right nitrogen atom have two lone pairs, and the center nitrogen atom does not have any lone pair.

Plus, there is a negative (-1) charge on each nitrogen atom.

## Steps

By using the following steps, you can easily draw the Lewis structure of N_{3}^{–}:

#1 Draw skeleton

#2 Show chemical bond

#3 Mark lone pairs

#4 Complete octet on central atom

#5 Calculate formal charge and check stability

Let’s one by one discuss each step in detail.

### #1 Draw skeleton

In this step, first calculate the total number of valence electrons. And then, decide the central atom.

- Let’s calculate the total number of valence electrons

We know that… nitrogen is a group 15 element. Hence, nitrogen has **five** valence electrons.

Now N_{3}^{–} has three nitrogen atoms.

So the total number of valence electrons = valence electrons of nitrogen atom × 3

And N_{3}^{–} has a negative (-1) charge, so we have to add one more electron.

Therefore, the **total number of valence electrons** = 15 + 1 = 16

- Now decide the central atom

There are three nitrogen atoms in N_{3}^{–}. Hence, we can assume any one as the central atom. Let’s assume that **center nitrogen is the central atom**.

So now, put three nitrogens next to each other. And draw the rough skeleton structure for the Lewis structure of N_{3}^{–} something like this:

**Also read:** How to draw Lewis structure of Cl_{2} (4 steps)

### #2 Show chemical bond

Place two electrons between the atoms to show a chemical bond. Since center nitrogen is surrounded by two other nitrogens, use four electrons to show **two chemical bonds** as follows:

### #3 Mark lone pairs

As calculated earlier, we have a total of 16 valence electrons. And in the above structure, we have already used four valence electrons. Hence, twelve valence electrons are remaining.

Two valence electrons represent one lone pair. So twelve valence electrons = **six lone pairs**.

Note that nitrogen is a period 2 element, so it can not keep more than 8 electrons in its last shell.

Also, make sure that you start marking these lone pairs on outside atoms first. And then, on the central atom.

The outside atoms are left nitrogen and right nitrogen, so left nitrogen and right nitrogen will get three lone pairs. And the central atom (center nitrogen) will not get any lone pair, because all six lone pairs are used.

So the Lewis structure of N_{3}^{–} looks something like this:

In the above structure, you can see that the octet is completed on outside atoms. But, the central atom (center nitrogen) doesn’t form an octet.

So in the next step, we have to complete the octet on the central atom.

**Also read:** How to draw Lewis structure of COCl_{2} (5 steps)

### #4 Complete octet on central atom

Remember that nitrogen is a period 2 element, so it can not keep more than 8 electrons in its last shell.

Now center nitrogen already has four valence electrons. Hence, center nitrogen needs **four more** valence electrons to complete its octet.

So convert one lone pair from the left nitrogen atom and right nitrogen atom to make a new bond with the center nitrogen atom. And then, the Lewis structure of N_{3}^{–} looks something like this:

In the above structure, you can see that the octet is completed on the central atom (center nitrogen), and also on the outside atom. Therefore, the octet rule is satisfied.

After completing the octet, one last thing we need to do is, calculate the formal charge and check the stability of the above structure.

**Also read:** How to draw Lewis structure of BH_{3} (3 steps)

### #5 Calculate formal charge and check stability

The following formula is used to calculate the formal charges on atoms:

Formal charge = valence electrons – nonbonding electrons – ½ bonding electrons

Collect the data from the above structure and then, write it down below as follows:

- For
**left nitrogen**and**right nitrogen**atom

Valence electrons = 5

Nonbonding electrons = 4

Bonding electrons = 4

Formal charge = 5 – 4 – ½ (4) = -1

- For
**center nitrogen**atom

Valence electrons = 5

Nonbonding electrons = 0

Bonding electrons = 8

Formal charge = 5 – 0 – ½ (8) = +1

Mention the formal charges of atoms on the structure. So the Lewis structure of N_{3}^{–} looks something like this:

In the above structure, you can see that the formal charges of atoms are closer to zero. Therefore, this is the **most stable Lewis structure of N**_{3}** ^{–}**.

And each horizontal line drawn in the above structure represents a pair of bonding valence electrons.

Now N_{3}^{–} is an ion having a negative (-1) charge, so draw brackets around the above Lewis structure and mention that charge on the top right corner. And then, the Lewis structure of N_{3}^{–} looks something like this:

## Related

- Lewis structure of Cl
_{2} - Lewis structure of COCl
_{2} - Lewis structure of BH
_{3} - Lewis structure of NCl
_{3} - Lewis structure of BrF
_{5}

## External links

- Drawing the Lewis Structure for N3 – The University of Maryland
- N3- Lewis Structure in 6 Steps (With Images) – Pediabay
- N3- Lewis Structure: Drawings, Hybridization, Shape, Charges, Pairs – Lambda Geeks
- Chemical Bonding: N3- Lewis Structure – The Geoexchange
- N3- lewis structure, molecular geometry, hybridization, bond angle – Topblogtenz
- N3- (Azide) Ion Lewis Structure – Chemistry School
- Draw and explain the Lewis dot diagram for the N3- ion – Homework.Study.com
- N3- Lewis Structure (Azide Ion) – Pinterest
- What is the Lewis structure of the azide ion? – Chemistry Stack Exchange
- Lewis Electron-Dot Structure for N3 – Wired Chemist
- What is the most stable Lewis Structure for N3? – Quora
- How many resonance structures does N3- have? – Socratic
- N3 lewis structure, Hybridization, Molecular Structure, Bond Angle and Shape – Geometry of Molecules
- Draw a Lewis structure for the azide ion, N3- – Chegg
- The azide ion, N3- , is a symmetrical ion, all of whose contributing resonance structures have formal charges. Draw three important contributing structures for this ion – Pearson
- Lewis Dot of the Azide Ion N3- – Kent’s Chemistry
- Lewis dot structure for N3- – Brainly
- What is the formal charge on each nitrogen in azide ion N3 – Studocu
- Draw the Lewis structure for N3 – Bartleby
- Draw the Lewis dot structure for N3 Show the formal charge of the atom – Numerade
- What is the Lewis structure of N3-? – Quizlet

Deep

Rootmemory.com was founded by Deep Rana, who is a mechanical engineer by profession and a blogger by passion. He has a good conceptual knowledge on different educational topics and he provides the same on this website. He loves to learn something new everyday and believes that the best utilization of free time is developing a new skill.