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Resonance Structures

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Resonance Structures - Lesson Summary

The phenomenon of existing in more than one different form (structure) of which, all of them showing similar properties of that molecule is called resonance. And the structures which are showing resonance are called resonance structures.

Ex: resonance structures for nitrate ion.

Ex: Carbon dioxide) CO₂, Hydrazoic acid (N₃H), Nitrous oxide (N₂O), Nitric acid (HNO₃), Benzene (C₆H₆), Ozone (O₃) are some of the molecules which shows resonance.

In the resonance structures of ozone the bond length between oxygen atoms is lesser than the bond length of normal single bond between oxygen atoms and higher than the bond length between double bonded oxygen atoms.

The actual structure of a molecule is a hybrid of all the resonance structures possible. It is called a resonance hybrid. This resonance hybrid is more stable than any of the contributing resonating structures.

The energy of the resonance hybrid is less than any single canonical structure. Thus, resonance stabilizes the molecule.

Ex: Resonance structure possible for ozone molecule


Possible Conditions to write resonance structures:

  • The difference of energy between the resonating structures should be very low.
  • In all the resonating structures the similar charges never be on the adjacent atoms.
  • In all the resonance structures the positions of the atoms should be same.

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