CH2N2 Lewis Structure & Characteristics (15 Helpful Facts)

Diazomethane(CH2N2) is a kind of diazo compound, which is a chemical compound. Let us study the facts about CH2N2 in more detail.

Diazomethane (CH2N2) is combustible yellow gas that has used in diethyl ether solution. The substance has a melting point of -145 °C, a boiling point of -23 °C, and a molecular weight of 42.08 g/mol. An aqueous base hydrolyzes N-methyl nitrosamide in an ethereal solution to create CH2N2. 

CH2N2 and basic solutions of D2O react to form the deuterated derivative CD2N2. A few more facts about CH2N2 Lewis structures, shape, hybridization and polarity will be discussed below.

How to draw CH2N2 lewis structure?

A Lewis structure is a molecule with a covalent bond and a coordination component. Let us draw the lewis structure steps for CH2N2 below.

Calculate the molecule’s valence electrons in CH2N2:

CH2N2 has 16 valence electrons. 2 nitrogen atoms each have 5 valence electrons, 2 hydrogen atoms each have 1 valence electron, and the carbon atom in diazomethane has 4 valence electrons.

Choose and arrange the atoms in CH2N2:

Consider the core atom to be carbon since it has a lower electronegative value than nitrogen. The hydrogen atoms are first positioned around the carbon atom, followed by the linear placement of the nitrogen atoms. Another N is attached to nitrogen only because of the completion of the valency of C.

Chemical bond formation in CH2N2:

A single bond is created during the bonding process by sharing 2 electrons, whereas a double bond is created by sharing 4 electrons. If a double bond is employed in place of the single bond that now exists between the carbon and nitrogen atoms.

Complete the octet of the centre as well as the surrounding atom in CH2N2:

There are 16 valence electrons in total. Consequently, the structure needs to have either 2 double bonds or 1 triple bond. The N atom and the valence of carbon both contain only 6 electrons. A C atom completes the octet. The N atoms simultaneously reach octet and the hydrogen atoms reach duplet.

Final lewis structure of CH2N2:

The Lewis structure of CH2N2 shows delocalization of the carbon electron pair in a more stable structure due to the positive charge on the carbon atom, which is more electropositive than the nitrogen atom:

ch2n2 lewis structure
Lewis structure of CH2N2

CH2N2 lewis structure formal charge

The stability of a Lewis structure can be determined by computing the formal charge of each atom. Let us calculate the formal charge of CH2N2.

The overall formal charge of CH2N2 is 0. Use this formula to determine an atom’s formal charges:

Formal charge(FC) in CH2N2 = Valence electrons in CH2N2 – nonbonding electrons in CH2N2 -½ of a bonding electron in CH2N2. A formal charge table for CH2N2 is as follows:

Atoms involved
in CH2N2
Central Atom
426/2(4- 2- 6/2)
Outer Atom 
102/2(1- 0- 2/2)
Central Nitrogen
Atom (N)
Terminal Nitrogen 
The formal charge on CH2N2 lewis structure, C= -1, H=0, N =+1,0 CH2N2=0

CH2N2 valence electrons

The outer electrons that make up the s and p orbitals are known as valence electrons. Let us identify the CH2N2 valence electron.

There are 16 valence electrons in CH2N2. Carbon is the element that belongs in group 14 of the periodic table. The periodic table’s Group 1 contains hydrogen. The periodic table’s group 15 contains the element nitrogen.

The following table details the valence electron:

Atoms involved
in CH2N2
 of atoms
Total valence 
Central Atom
Outer Atom 
Outer Atom 
Total valence electron in CH2N2 =16

CH2N2 lewis structure octet rule

According to the octet rule, an atom will naturally try to find, give up, or share electrons to attain 8 electrons. Let us find out if CH2N2 satisfy to the octet rule or not.

The CH2N2 satisfies the octet rule. When C is all by itself, it contains 4 valence electrons. As a result, the octet rule is satisfied, stabilising the carbon atom.

  • In a filled structure, each H and C share a single(1) valence electron.
  • The atoms’ charges are still present. 
  • But since nitrogen can only hold 8 electrons in its final shell, we are unable to turn a lone pair into a bond.
  • An octet is also formed by terminal nitrogens.
  • In diazomethane, every atom can complete an entire octet.

CH2N2 lewis structure lone pairs

Nonbonding pairs of electrons do not move in and out of each other’s orbits as covalent bonds are formed. Let us look for lone pair electrons in CH2N2.

CH2N2 has 0 lone pairs on the central atom. This is because all 6 pairs of electrons of carbon participate in bonding. Additionally, there are 2 lone pairs on the terminal nitrogen atom. The nitrogen atom is joined by 1 additional nitrogen atom, and the carbon atom is joined by 2 hydrogen atoms.

Additionally, the left nitrogen atom has a positive (+1) charge whereas the terminal nitrogen atom has a negative (-1) charge with 2 lone pairs.

CH2N2 hybridization

Pauling introduced the idea of hybridisation as one of the basic theories to explain how bonds are produced. Let us examine the hybridisation of the carbon in CH2N2.

CH2N2 lewis structure has Sp2 hybridisation in the C atom. There are 4 valence shells in a carbon atom. Among them, the 3 sp2 hybridised orbitals are created when the s orbital joins with the p orbitals. 

  • A carbon atom in diazomethane has 3 sigma bonds and 1 pi bond. 
  • On the other hand, linear nitrogen shows sp hybridisation with another nitrogen atom. 
  • Nitrogen forms a 1 sigma and 1 pi bond with central carbon and a terminal nitrogen atom.

CH2N2 lewis structure shape

Covalent connections form when unshared pairs of electrons swap places with other atoms. Let us examine CH2N2 for lone pairs.

CH2N2 or diazomethane is a linear molecule. Because the carbon and nitrogen atoms each share 2 double bonds and 2 single bonds in the molecule. With the use of the VSEPR hypothesis, the CH2N2 molecular structure is investigated.

  1. Resonant structures occur in CH2N2 when atoms stabilize the negative charge on the molecule.
  2. During this process, the negative charges of the nitrogen and carbon atoms are stabilized on both.

CH2N2 lewis structure angle

The angle formed by the orbitals that surround a complex ion or molecule’s central atoms and surrounding atom. Let us see the CH2N2 bond angle.

CH2N2 has 2 structure bond angles i.e. 180° and 120°. This is because of the C-N-N bond(180°) and the H-C-H bond(120°). This molecule show this type of bonding due to its linear structure and 2 different hybridization(Sp2 at C and Sp at N). The image is shown below:

ch2n2 lewis structure
 Bond angles ie; 180° and 120° of CH2N2

Is CH2N2 solid or liquid?

The shape of solids is unique, while the shape of liquids is not always predictable. Let us determine whether CH2N2 is liquid or solid.

CH2N2 is a musty-smelling yellow gas. It is gas because of the presence of the methylene group. It can be stored or transferred under pressure as a liquid. It reacts by discharging its inherent yellow colour, which automatically signals the status and state of the reaction products.

Is CH2N2 soluble in water?

No chemical change or reaction occurs when a substance is soluble in water. Let us look at CH2N2 water solubility.

In water, CH2N2 is not soluble because it hydrolyzes and creates methanol in water. The hydrolysis reaction results in the production of CH3OH, the elimination of N2 gas, and a chemical reaction. 

                                             CH2N2 + H2O ⇋ CH3OH + N2

It is soluble in ethers or dioxane, and diazomethane solution gradually breaks down in -OH and water at a particular temperature.

Is CH2N2 polar or nonpolar?

If a molecule’s bond dipoles cancel each other or do not cancel, the molecule is said to be polar or non-polar. Let us determine whether CH2N2 is polar or non-polar.

CH2N2 is a polar molecule because of the stable negative charges on the nitrogen and carbon atoms in the resonance structures. The electronegativity and resonant-structured molecule are the explanation for the polarity of CH2N2.

  • Electronegativity values for carbon are 2.55 (C), 2.2 (H), and 3.04 (N), respectively.
  • E.N differences for C-H and C-N were 0.35 and 0.49, respectively.
  • Since nitrogen has a higher electronegative charge than carbon, it tries to pull the negative charge toward it. 
  • A stable structure results in the molecule having a negative charge on nitrogen.
  • The resonance structures are shown below:
ch2n2 lewis structure
Polarity and resonance structures of CH2N2

Is CH2N2 molecular compound?

Chemical units known as molecules are grouped to form compounds. Let us determine whether or not CH2N2 is a molecule.

CH2N2 is a molecular compound because it is a covalent molecule. It is utilised in the organic chemistry lab to transform alkenes into cyclopropane and carboxylic acids into methyl esters.

Is CH2N2 acid or base?

The strength of a weak acid is determined by how much it dissociates. Let us look at CH2N2 acidity.

CH2N2 is a weaker acid because it has methyl groups, which are naturally weak acids. It is used as a methylating agent, which adds methyl groups to other compounds.

Is CH2N2 electrolyte?

The chemicals that can separate in water or other aqueous solvents are known as electrolytes. Let us check whether CH2N2 is an electrolyte or not.

CH2N2 cannot act as an electrolyte because of its strong intermolecular force of attraction. It doesn’t separate into ions when dissolved in water. It is not an electrolyte because electrolytes can only be formed from ionic chemicals.

Is CH2N2 salt?

A chemical molecule known as salt is made up of ionic charged cations and anions. Let us find out whether CH2N2 is salt or not.

CH2N2 is not salt because it behaves as a covalent compound and does not dissociate into water. 

Is CH2N2 ionic or covalent?

Ionic compounds are created when a metal reacts with a nonmetal and two nonmetals produce covalent compounds. Let us check whether CH2N2 is ionic or covalent.

CH2N2 is an organic covalent compound. This is because of the presence of carbon and nitrogen element which is electronegative. The difference between these two creates polarity in the CH2N2 molecule.


CH2N2 is a gas at room temperature and is a toxic, potentially yellow chemical. It is utilised in the organic chemistry lab to transform alkenes into cyclopropane and carboxylic acids into methyl esters. In CH2N2, there are 16 valence electrons. It is linear in shape with Sp2 hybridisation and polar covalent molecule.

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