Ammonium Lewis Structure: Detailed Explanations


Ammonium Lewis structure is the formula NH4+.It has charge of +1. This lost one electron in the total ammonium lewis structure. Simultaneously Nitrogen and hydrogen present on the periodic table in group5 and group1.

Nitrogen has 5 pairs of electrons , hydrogen has 1 .so normally N and H both contain 9 electrons. Because of positive charge present here in ammonium,1 electron will be removed from it. NH4+ : 5+1(4)-1=8 electron. So it has 8 valence electrons in its lewis structure.

Molecular formula of ammonium is NH3 , Ammonium ion come in to existence , when ammonia atom Lewis structure of NH4+ goes through the process which is called protonation . So ammonium lewis structure contain positive charge in it. The ammonium lewis structure is the by product the chemical reaction between a proton donor and ammonia. NH3 and H+ gives NH4+.

Lets take some examples of ammonium lewis structure,

  1. Ammonium chloride lewis structure
  2. Ammonium nitrate lewis structure
  3. Ammonium sulfate lewis structure
  4. Ammonium carbonate lewis structure
  5. Ammonium hydroxide lewis structure
  6. Ammonium phosphate lewis structure
  7. Ammonium bromide lewis structure
  8. Ammonium acetate lewis structure

Ammonium chloride lewis structure:

The formula of ammonium chloride is NH4Cl.Here the NH4 which is positively charge and Cl which is negative charge. So NH4+ Cl- is an ionic compound. But the nitrogen is bonded with hydrogen bond by covalent bond.

Here the nitrogen contain 4 hydrogen bonds besides it and a positive charge is present. So there is 8 valence electrons is present here.  We have to draw , NH4+ lewis structure is square bracket to show that it an ion. Similarly chlorine which brings 7 electrons with it and now fully eight. This completes octet , makes it stable .So it gives -1 charge. This is also shown in a square bracket.

Image credit of ammonium chloride by istock

Ammonium nitrate lewis structure:

The formula of ammonium nitrate lewis structure is NH4NO3. Here ammonium is in AX4 form. So it making the shape of Tetrahedral and here the bond angle is 109•5 degree. The AX form of nitrate is in AX3 form , making shape trigonal planner. The bond angle of NO3 is 120 degree. Here NH4 , which is positively charge and NO3 which is negatively charged . So ammonium nitrate is a ionic compound.

    NH4 is non polar and NO3 is polar here. NO3 is polar because it doesn’t have same amount of negatively charged all around. Here two molecules are bound by themselves by hydrogen bonding. The hydrogen of NH3 can interact with any one of the oxygen and nitrogen in the NO3. Except from hydrogen bonding , this 2 molecules can also be bound by the dispersion forces ,which act as on all pairs of molecules.

Here the nitrogen contain 4 hydrogen bonds besides it and a positive charge is present. So there is 8 valence electrons is present here.  We have to draw , NH4+ lewis structure is square bracket to show that it an ion. Similarly NO3 contain formal charge of -1. This is also present in a square bracket.

Ammonium sulfate Lewis structure:

This is an inorganic salt , which formulae is (NH4)2SO4. Here the NH4 is positively charge and SO4 is negatively charged with formal charge -2. So by maintaining the formula of ammonium chloride , we can write this as (NH4)2SO4.

Here the nitrogen contain 4 hydrogen bonds besides it and a positive charge is present. So there is 8 valence electrons is present here.  We have to draw , NH4+ lewis structure is square bracket to show that it an ion. Similarly the SO4 contain -2 charge . This is also in a square bracket. By crisscross the -2 which is present in SO4 goes down to the NH4 by making formula  (NH4)2SO4.

Ammonium carbonate lewis structure:

Ammonium carbonate lewis structure is a formula having (NH4)2CO3. Here the NH4 is positively charge and CO3 is negatively charged with formal charge -2. So by maintaining the formula of ammonium carbonate , we can write this as (NH4)2CO3.

Here the nitrogen contain 4 hydrogen bonds besides it and a positive charge is present. So there is 8 valence electrons is present here.  We have to draw , NH4+ lewis structure is square bracket to show that it an ion. Nitrogen are covalently bonded with hydrogen. Similarly the CO3 contain -2 charge . This is also in a square bracket. By crisscross the -2 which is present in CO3 goes down to the NH4 by making formula  (NH4)2CO3.

Ammonium hydroxide lewis structure:

Ammonium lewis structure having formulae of NH4OH. By scientifically we found the ammonium hydroxide , if ammonium is dissolved in water than it form. Here the NH4 which is positively charge and OH which is negative charge. So NH4+ OH- is an ionic compound. But the nitrogen is bonded with hydrogen bond by covalent bond.

Here the nitrogen contain 4 hydrogen bonds besides it and a positive charge is present. So there is 8 valence electrons is present here.  We have to draw , NH4+ lewis structure is square bracket to show that it an ion. Similarly hydroxide which brings 8 electrons with in it . This completes octet , makes it stable .So it gives -1 charge. This is also shown in a square bracket.

Ammonium phosphate Lewis structure:

The formula of ammonium phosphate is (NH4)3PO4. Here the NH4 is positively charge and PO4 is negatively charged with formal charge -3. So by maintaining the formula of ammonium phosphate , we can write this as (NH4)3PO4.

Here the nitrogen contain 4 hydrogen bonds besides it and a positive charge is present. So there is 8 valence electrons is present here.  We have to draw , NH4+ lewis structure is square bracket to show that it an ion. Nitrogen are covalently bonded with hydrogen. Similarly the PO4 contain -3 formal charge . This is also in a square bracket. By crisscross the -3 which is present in PO4 goes down to the NH4 by making formula  (NH4)3PO4.

NH4+ = 5+4-1= 8 valence electrons

OH- = 6+1+1= 8 valence electrons

Ammonium bromide lewis structure:

The formula of ammonium chloride is NH4Br.Here the NH4 which is positively charge and Br which is negative charge. So NH4+ Br- is an ionic compound. But the nitrogen is bonded with hydrogen bond by covalent bond.

Here the nitrogen contain 4 hydrogen bonds besides it and a positive charge is present. So there is 8 valence electrons is present here.  We have to draw , NH4+ lewis structure is square bracket to show that it an ion. Similarly bromine which brings 7 electrons with it and now fully eight. This completes octet , makes it stable .So it gives -1 charge. This is also shown in a square bracket.

Ammonium acetate lewis structure :

The formula of ammonium acetate is NH4CH3COO. We can write this formula by differently CH3CO2- and C2H3O2-. Here the NH4 which is positively charge and Br which is negative charge. So NH4+ COO- is an ionic compound. But the nitrogen is bonded with hydrogen bond by covalent bond.

Here the nitrogen contain 4 hydrogen bonds besides it and a positive charge is present. So there is 8 valence electrons is present here.  We have to draw , NH4+ lewis structure is square bracket to show that it an ion. Similarly COO which brings -1 electrons with it .So it gives -1 charge. This is also shown in a square bracket.

To know more about ammonium, we have to know some more about it:

  1. Lewis structure of NH4+
  2. Molecular geometry of ammonium lewis structure
  3. Hybridization of NH4+

Lewis structure of NH4+ :

There is good thing about hydrogen is that it only form single bond, it doesn’t have any lone pair or double bond . So the nitrogen covalently bonded with the hydrogen by single bond and it has positive charge above it.so the structure has 8 valence electrons and one positive charge in it .

So by calculating the formal charge of ammonium lewis structure is , Formal charge= valence electrons – (bonds+ dots) =5-(4+0) = +1 The positive charge , which shows in the ammonium ion to the formal charge of ammonium ion.

ammonium lewis structure
image credit of ammonium lewis structure by istock

Molecular geometry of ammonium lewis structure:

While the lewis structure depicted 2 dimensional structure of a molecule, molecular geometry is the 3 dimensional structure ,that designing the atoms. Now here to describe the molecular shape of the ammonium lewis structure by comparing with the methane. Methane has 4 hydrogen atom , both have 4 hydrogen atom and tetrahedral molecular geometry . We know that the bond angle of CH4 is 109•5 degree.

So the bond angle for ammonia is very similar to that. The ammonium , NH4+ by its 3 dimensional structure referred as tetrahedral. Nitrogen has 5 valence electrons and hydrogen has 4 valence electrons. So total contain 9 electrons. But due to positive formal charge , it has 8 valence shell electrons.

The bond angle between two respective hydrogen atom is 109•5 degree rather than 90 degree . Which is far away from one another as possible. Molecular geometry help to depict the properties of elements. Such as magnetism , reactivity, polarity , color, 3 dimensional space alignment.

Image credit of ammonium tetrahedral structure by istock

Hybridization of NH4+ :

Atomic orbital with similar energy is form hybrid atomic orbits having comparable level of energy participate forming the hybrid orbitals. NH4+ contain 4 Sigma bond. 3 bonds are covalent bonds and 4th one is dative bond. There is no pi-bond present . So all four electron contained in the atomic orbital in the outermost shell of nitrogen atom can participate in sp3 hybridization.

By identifying in different methods, Hybridization= number of ion pairs+ number of Sigma bonds 0+4= 4. Here zero number of ion pair and 4 Sigma bond on the ammonium. Hybridization value is 4. Therefore the configuration of NH4+ is sp3. Hybridization of the central nitrogen atom of the ammonia is sp3 hybrid orbital. It means it has 1s and 3p orbitals.

Upasana Nayak

Hi.....I am Upasana Nayak. I have done my Masters in Chemistry. I am working as a Chemist in a mining company along with that working as a Subject Matter Expert in Lambdageeks for Chemistry subject Let's connect through LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/upasana-nayak-805062222.

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