NH3O Lewis Structure & Characteristics (17 Complete Facts)

NH3O is a parent class of the aminoxyl group. Let us discuss its characteristics in a detailed manner.

NH3O or hydroxylamine involves bonding between N, O and H by a single covalent bond. Here the lewis structure is formed by sharing of electrons which fulfills octet rule at every aspect. The typical bonding is between the NH2 group and OH group from N and O termini respectively.

NH3O is an inorganic white crystalline and hygroscopic compound that has contributed to various organic reactions like oxime formation, isomerization, etc. Apart from that it is a potent greenhouse gas and has a role in biological nitrification. Let us describe its various properties like polarity, solubility, etc.

How to draw NH3O lewis structure?

NH3O lewis structure can be drawn by an electron dot symbol. Let us understand the whole method through the steps given below.

Total no. of valence electrons involved

The beginning step or process is to check out the valence electrons participating in the lewis structure representation. The total no. of valence electrons in NH3O is 14 which is calculated by the addition of individual atoms valence electrons.

Looking out for the central atom

The second step is to lookout for the central atom according to least electronegativity criteria to facilitate the positioning of atoms. Here N is the least electronegative atom with 5 valence electrons. Hence it will be deemed as the central atom in NH3O.

Completion of octet criteria

The next step is bonding according to the octet stability rule. N has 5 valence electrons, and it will share its 3 electrons with O and 2 H atoms through single covalent bonds. Simultaneously, the O atom will share its 1 valence electron with the H atom thereby completing the octet for every atom.

The formal charge for stability validation

Formal charge is the concluding step of every lewis structure and act as an indicator confirming the presence of the molecule. The formal charge of NH3O for its atoms is 0 which proves uniform electric charge distribution and existence of the molecule.

NH3O lewis structure
NH3O lewis structure

NH3O lewis structure shape

The shape of any molecule gives insight into its arrangement and interactions of the individual atoms with each other. Let us find out the shape of NH3O.

NH3O exhibits a tetrahedral shape at the N atom because it is a central atom and is surrounded by the OH group, 2H atoms and a lone pair of electrons as the termini. It also shows minor distortions due to the lone pair of electrons on the central N atom.

NH3O 3D representation

NH3O lewis structure formal charge

A formal charge is a theoretical charge on an atom in a molecule with an assumption that chemical bonds have equal distribution. Let us evaluate the formal charge of NH3O.

The formal charge of NH3O is 0. It can be calculated using a formula.

Formal charge = No. of valence electrons – No. of nonbonding electrons – Bonding electrons/2

  • Formal charge of N in NH3O = 5 – 2 – 6/2 = 0
  • Formal charge of O in NH3O = 6 – 4 – 4/2 = 0
  • Formal charge of H in NH3O = 1 – 0 – 2/2 = 0

NH3O lewis structure angle

The concept of bond angle is between 2 covalent bonds but is influenced by shape and the other external factors. Let us discuss the bond angle in NH3O.

Bond angle in NH3O varies according to the bonds and atoms involved because of the tetrahedral shape and lone pair distortions. The bond angle in N-O-H is 101.4 degrees. The bond angle in H-N-H is 107 degrees. Lastly, the angle in H-N-O is 103.3 degrees.

NH3O bond angle description

NH3O lewis structure octet rule

The octet rule is a stability criterion fulfilled by every element by forming compounds through various bonding methods. Let us check whether NH3O can fulfill this criterion.

NH3O completely follows the octet rule by sharing electrons through single covalent bonding. N needs 3 electrons and O needs 2 electrons for octet completion which they achieve by sharing electrons and by sharing the 3 hydrogen atoms. 

NH3O lewis structure lone pair

Lone pairs are the electrons that are left out after bonding but they do influence the bonding properties of the molecule. Let us discuss the lone pair of NH3O in detail.

The lone pairs in NH3O are evaluated at 2 position N and O where N has 1 lone pair and O has 2 lone pairs as described in their electron dot structure. N and O have 5 and 6 valence electrons and need 3 and 2 electrons for stability respectively. Hence, after sharing, N and O are left with 2 and 4 electrons.

NH3O valence electrons

Valence electrons hold a significant position in bonding due to fewer nuclear attractions. Let us find out the number of valence electrons in NH3O.

The total no. of valence electrons in NH3O is 14. It can be enumerated by adding the valence electrons of the individual atoms involved.

  • Valence electrons in N in NH3O = 5
  • Valence electrons in O in NH3O = 6
  • Valence electrons in H in NH3O = 1
  • Total no. of valence electrons in NH3O = 5 + 6 + 3(1) = 14

NH3O hybridizations

Hybridization is the intermixing of the atomic orbitals which results in hybrid orbitals with different energies. Let us find out the hybridization of NH3O.

The hybridization of NH3O on both N and O is sp3 because the whole structure is tetrahedral which aligns with sp3 hybridization. Apart from this, another factor which proves sp3 hybridization is the overlap of N and O orbitals in NH3O.

Is NH3O solid or liquid?

The state of matter of a compound can be judged through its physical appearance and the intensity of intermolecular interactions. Let us discuss the state of matter of NH3O.

NH3O is a solid because of strong intermolecular interactions between its atoms which can be decomposed by internal oxidation-reduction. Its physical description is a white crystalline and hygroscopic solid.

Is NH3O soluble in water?

Solubility especially in water depends on how the molecule interacts with water. Let us find out whether NH3O is soluble in water.

NH3O is soluble in water because it can easily form hydrogen bonds with it and follows the principle of like attracts like. It shows complete solubility in cold water and decomposes in the hot water.

Is NH3O polar or nonpolar?

Polarity is the separation due to the electric charge which eventually leads to a dipole moment. Let us check whether NH3O is polar or nonpolar.

NH3O is a polar compound because of the presence of 2 functional groups NH2 and OH with the difference in charges. Though covalent, its arrangement or shape does not cancel out the charges. Hence it has a net dipole moment.

Is NH3O a molecular compound?

Molecularity is similar to the concept of covalency. Let us figure out if NH3O is a molecular compound.

NH3O is a molecular compound because it fulfills the criteria for covalency where there is sharing of electrons as a mode of bonding. Also, all the atoms involved in NH3O are non-metals which again supports the molecularity, unlike metals.

Is NH3O acid or base?

The acidic or basic character of a molecule is judged by its behavior during dissociation in water. Let us find out whether it is an acid or a base.

NH3O is not a distinct acid or base. Instead, it is an amphoteric compound that according to different reaction conditions acts as an acid or base. For instance, NH3O is basic during nucleophilic addition reactions and acidic during various nitrate reactions.

Is NH3O electrolyte?

The electrolyte is used as a potential dissociate in an aqueous medium to facilitate the movement of electrons. Let us discuss whether NH3O is an electrolyte or not.

NH3O cannot act as an electrolyte because it is a covalent compound and cannot be dissociated easily in an aqueous medium, a condition that is a prerequisite to being an electrolyte. But it can undergo electrochemical reactions like NH3O oxidation using Au electrodes.

Is NH3O salt?

Salt is a no net electric charge neutral species. It could be of varied types depending upon the composition. Let us examine if NH3O is a salt.

NH3O is not salt because it is an amphoteric compound and in certain conditions behaves as both acid and base. For instance, in a reaction with HCl, it is a weak base and with NH3 it is a base. So, it does not align with the properties of salt.

Is NH3O ionic or covalent?

Ionic or covalent character is determined by the mechanism by which octet stability is gained by the molecule. Let us find out if NH3O is ionic or covalent.

NH3O is a covalent compound because it is formed by the sharing of electrons between individual atoms. Also, it is one of the major components in nucleophilic addition reactions of aldehydes resulting in oxime formation confirming its covalency.


In nutshell, NH3O or hydroxylamine is an important constituent of organic synthetic methodologies. Like any other organic compound, it exhibits covalency or molecularity, solubility, and polarity.

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