Nitrogen (N) Orbital diagram, Electron configuration, and Valence electrons

Home Nitrogen Orbital diagram, Electron Configuration, and Valence electrons

Nitrogen has an atomic number of 7 belongs to Group 15 also known as the pnictogens family. It is situated in the P-block of the periodic table. Nitrogen has the symbol N and it was first discovered by Scottish physician Daniel Rutherford in 1772.

In this article, we will discuss – Nitrogen Orbital diagram, Electron configuration, and Valence electrons in detail.

Orbital diagram:- A orbital diagram is simply a pictorial representation of the arrangement of electrons in the orbital of an atom, it shows the electrons in the form of arrows, also, indicates the spin of electrons.

Electron configuration:- Electron configuration is the arrangement of electrons in atomic orbitals. It shows the electrons in numbers, It doesn’t show the details on the spin of electrons like the orbital diagram.

Valence electrons:- Valence electrons are the simply outermost electron of an atom situated in an outermost shell surrounding an atomic nucleus. They can participate in the formation of chemical bonds.

How to find Electron configuration of Nitrogen (N)?

The electron configuration of Nitrogen can be found using the Aufbau principle.

Aufbau Principle:

  • The word ‘Aufbau’ in German means ‘building up’.
  • The Aufbau rule simply gives the order of electrons filling in the orbital of an atom in its ground state.
  • It states that orbital with the lowest energy level will be filled first before those with high energy levels. In short, the electrons will be filled in the orbital in order of their increasing energies.
  • For example, the 1s orbital will be filled first with electrons before the 2s orbital.

Simply understand that there are commonly four different types of subshells – s, p, d, and, f.

These subshells can hold a maximum number of electrons on the basis of a formula, 2(2l + 1) where ‘l’ is the azimuthal quantum number.

Value of ‘l’ for different subshells.

SubshellsValue of ‘l’Maximum number of electrons, 2(2l + 1)Number of orbitals in the subshell
s021
p163
d2105
f3147

So, in short, the s subshell can hold a maximum of 2 electrons(1 orbital), the p subshell can hold 6 electrons(3 orbitals), the d subshell can hold 10 electrons(5 orbitals), and the f subshell can hold at most 14 electrons(7 orbitals).

Now, the electron configuration of an atom can be built by filling the electrons in a lower energy subshell first then higher, higher, and higher.

Generally, (n + l) rule is used to predict the energy level of subshells.

n = principle quantum number

l = Azimuthal quantum number

⇒ Lower the value of (n + l) for an subshell, the lower its energy, hence, it will be filled first with electrons.

⇒ For two different subshells having same (n + l) value, then the subshell with lower value of n has lower energy.

So, all these are basics of How filling of electrons will be done in different subshells, obviously, you don’t have so much time for writing electron configuration by using so many rules.

Therefore, we have a diagonal rule for electron filling order in the different subshells using the Aufbau principle.

Aufbau principle for finding electron configuration

So, the order in which the orbitals are filled with electrons from lower energy to higher energy is – 1s < 2s < 2p < 3s < 3p < 4s < 3d < 4p < 5s < 4d < 5p < 6s < 4f < 5d < 6p < 7s < 5f < 6d < 7p and so on.

Nitrogen Electron configuration using the Aufbau Principle

  • A nitrogen atom is a neutral atom that has 7 atomic numbers which implies it has a total of 7 electrons.
  • As per the Aufbau rule, the electrons will be filled into 1s orbital first then 2s, then 2p…so on.
  • Now, for the electron configuration of Nitrogen, the first 2 electrons will go in 1s orbital since s subshell can hold a maximum of 2 electrons.
  • The next two electrons will go in the 2s orbital, after that, we are left with 3 electrons, these will go in the 2p orbital since the p subshell can hold a maximum of 6 electrons.
  • Therefore, the electron configuration of Nitrogen will be 1s22s22p3.

Electron configuration for Nitrogen (N)

Nitrogen (N) Electron Configuration

Orbital diagram for Nitrogen

The orbital diagram simply represents the arrangement of electrons in the different orbitals of an atom, it uses an arrow to represent the electrons, every orbital(one box) contains a maximum of 2 electrons.

There are three rules followed for constructing the orbital diagram for an atom.

(1). Aufbau’s principle:- This rule state that the lower energy orbital will be filled before the higher energy orbital, for example – the 1s orbital will fill before the 2s orbital.

(2). Hund’s rule:- This rule state that each orbital of a given subshell should be filled with one electron each before pairing them. That means “Each orbital gets one electron first, before adding the second electron to the orbital”.

(3). Pauli Exclusion Principle:- This rule state that, no two electrons can occupy the same orbital with the same spin. That means “One must be spin up (↑) and one must be spin down (↓)”.

rules for drawing the orbital diagram

If you understand the above rules then constructing the orbital diagram or orbital notation for Nitrogen is super easy.

Basics of Orbital diagram:-

There are different types of orbitals – s, p, d, and, f. These orbitals contain a number of boxes that can hold a number of electrons. Let’s see.

Each box will hold a maximum of 2 electrons with opposite spin.

  • S orbital contains 1 box that can hold a maximum of 2 electrons.
  • P orbital contains 3 boxes that can hold a maximum of 6 electrons.
  • D orbital contains 5 boxes that can hold a maximum of 10 electrons.
  • F orbital contains 7 boxes that can hold a maximum of 14 electrons.

The orbital diagram will also be filled with the same order as described by the Aufbau principle. (1s < 2s < 2p < 3s……and so on.)

What is the Orbital diagram for Nitrogen?

We know the electron configuration of nitrogen is 1s22s22p3, now for drawing its orbital diagram, we need to show its electrons in form of an arrow in different boxes using Hund’s and Pauli exclusion rule.

  • The orbital diagram of nitrogen contains 1s orbital, 2s orbital, and 2p orbital. 1s orbital contains 1 box, 2s orbital also contains 1 box and 2p orbital contains 3 boxes.
  • Nitrogen has a total of 7 electrons and one box can hold up to two electrons.
  • Therefore, the first two electrons will go in the 1s orbital, and the next two will go in the 2s orbital, now we are left with 3 electrons.
  • These 3 electrons will go in the 2p orbital, since, the 2p orbital has 3 boxes, so, these electrons will be filled using Hund’s rule. (Each box gets one electron first).

Orbital diagram for Nitrogen (N)

Nitrogen Orbital diagram

Electron configuration Vs Orbital diagram for Nitrogen

The main difference between the orbital diagram and electron configuration is that an orbital diagram shows electrons in form of arrows whereas an electron configuration shows electrons in form of numbers. Also, the orbital diagram shows details on the spin of electrons whereas the electron configuration doesn’t show it.

Both these follow the Aufbau principle (Diagonal rule).

Electron configuration vs Orbital diagram for Nitrogen (N)

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Electron configuration for Nitrogen via Bohr model (Orbit)

Bohr model describes the visual representation of orbiting electrons around the small nucleus. It used different electron shells such as K, L, M, N…so on.

These electron shells hold a specific number of electrons that can be calculated via the 2n2 formula where n represents the shell number.

Electron shellsShell number (n)Max. number of electrons (2n2)
K12
L28
M318
N432

So, K is the first shell or orbit that can hold up to 2 electrons, L is the 2nd shell which can hold up to 8 electrons, M is the third shell that can hold up to 18 electrons, and N is the fourth shell that can hold up to 32 electrons.

Now, Nitrogen has an atomic number of 7 and it contains a total number of 7 electrons. Hence, 2 electrons will go in the first shell(K) and 5 electrons will go in the second shell(L).

Therefore, the electrons per shell for nitrogen is 2, 5, hence, we can say, based on the shell, the electronic configuration of the Nitrogen atom is [2, 5].

Also checkHow to draw Bohr model of Nitrogen atom

Nitrogen Valence electrons

Valence electrons are the outermost electrons present in the outermost shell of an atom. They have more energy, hence, they are part of most chemical reactions.

We can find valence electrons of an atom either by knowing its periodic group number or its electron configuration. Both these ways are super easy.

Finding Nitrogen Valence electrons through the Group number

For neutral atoms, the valence electrons of an atom will be equal to its main periodic group number. However, for transition metals, the process of finding valence electrons is complicated.

Now, for determining the valence electron for the nitrogen atom, look at the periodic table and find its Group number. The group number can be found from its column on the periodic table.

Nitrogen Valence electrons

So, the number of valence electrons in nitrogen is 5. Since it belongs to Group 15 (also called 5A) in the Periodic table.

Finding Nitrogen Valence electrons through the Electron configuration or Bohr model

We know, the electron configuration of the Nitrogen atom is 1s22s22p3, and valence electrons are those electrons found in the outer shell of an atom.

This electron configuration of nitrogen shows that the outer shell of nitrogen has 5 electrons(2s22p3), hence, the number of valence electrons in the Nitrogen atom is 5.

Also, we know, that the electron configuration of nitrogen-based on the shells is [2, 5], which means, that two electrons are present in the first shell, and five electrons are present in 2nd shell or outer shell.

Hence, the electrons found in the 2nd shell of the Nitrogen atom are its valence electrons because it is the outermost shell also called the valence shell.

The 2nd shell or outer shell of the Nitrogen atom contains 5 electrons, therefore, the number of valence electrons in the Nitrogen atom is 5.

How many valence electrons does nitrogen have

Nitrogen Valence electrons

Electron configuration, Valence electrons, and Orbital diagram of Nitrogen in tabular form

Name of atomNitrogen (N)
Number of electrons7
Number of electrons per shell[2, 5]
Number of valence electrons5
Electron configuration1s22s22p3 or [He] 2s22p3
Orbital diagramConsists of three orbitals – 1s, 2s, and, 2p

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FAQ

What are the Ground state and Excited-state Electron configurations of Nitrogen?

There is a simple difference between Ground state and Excited-state configuration.

The ground state configuration of an atom is the same as its regular electron configuration in which electrons remain in the lowest possible energy.

So, the ground-state electron configuration for the Nitrogen atom is 1s22s22p3.

The excited-state configuration of an atom is different from the regular configuration of an atom, this occurs, when an electron is excited and jumps into a higher orbital.

The excited-state electron configuration for nitrogen is 1s22s22p23s1 or 1s22s12p4.

What is the shorthand electron configuration of Nitrogen?

The shorthand electron configuration for nitrogen atom is [He] 2s22p3.

∴ [He] electron configuration is 1s2.

Which element has the 1s22s22p3 Electron configuration?

Element with electron configuration 1s22s22p3 is Nitrogen (N) that has the atomic number of 7.

How many valence electrons does nitrogen have?

The nitrogen atom has 5 valence electrons in its outermost or valence shell. Nitrogen is belonged to the group 15th and has the atomic number of 7.

What is the orbital diagram for Nitrogen (N)?

The orbital diagram for nitrogen is drawn with 3 orbitals. The orbitals are 1s, 2s, and 2p. The nitrogen orbital diagram contains 2 electrons in the 1s orbital, 2 electrons in the 2s orbital, and the rest three electrons in the 2p orbital.

The orbital diagram for a ground-state electron configuration of a nitrogen atom is as follows-

Orbital notation for Nitrogen

What is the electron configuration of the N3- ion?

We know, in general, that the electron configuration of Nitrogen (N) is 1s22s22p3.

Now, in N3- ion, the negative charge means, nitrogen has gained three extra electrons.

Therefore, to write the electron configuration of N3- ion, we have to add three electrons to the configuration of Nitrogen (N).

∴ The resulting electron configuration for (Nitride ion) N3- will be 1s22s22p6. It resembles the configuration of the nearest inert gas i.e Neon.

Properties and Uses of Nitrogen

  1. It is the lightest member of the pnictogens family.
  2. It appears as colorless gas, liquid or solid.
  3. Its electronegativity at the Pauling scale is 3.04.
  4. It has a hexagonal crystal structure.
  5. It is discovered by Daniel Rutherford in 1772.
  6. It is used in the manufacturing of stainless steel, and also, in the hardening of steel.
  7. Nitrogen is inexpensive, hence, in place of argon, it is used in incandescent light bulbs.
  8. It is also used for the inflation of airbags.
  9. It is used to reduce fire-related hazards in aircraft fuel systems.
  10. It is also used to power up the hydraulic hammer.

Production and reactions for Nitrogen

Pure nitrogen can be produced with the help of the thermal decomposition of two moles of sodium azide.

⇒ 2NaN3 → 2Na + 3N2

Nitrogen is also prepared in a chemical laboratory by the reaction of ammonium chloride with sodium nitrite.

⇒ NH4Cl + NaNO2 → N2 + NaCl + 2H2O

When nitrogen reacts with the three moles of halogens atoms, it forms tri-halide compounds.

⇒ N2 + 3F2 → 2NF3

⇒ N2 + 3I2 → 2NI3

When six moles of lithium react with N2, it forms lithium nitride compounds.

⇒ 6Li + N2 → 2Li3N

When the nitrogen atom combines with the hydrogen atom, it forms ammonia.

⇒ N2 + 3H2 → 2NH3

Summary

  • The electron configuration of Nitrogen in terms of the shell or orbit is [2, 5].
  • The ground-state electron configuration of the Nitrogen (N) atom is 1s22s22p3. And for the excited state, it is 1s22s22p23s1 or 1s22s12p4.
  • The shorthand electron configuration for nitrogen is [He] 2s22p3.
  • The electron configuration for (Nitride ion) N3- is 1s22s22p6.
  • The number of valence electrons available for nitrogen atoms is 5. Nitrogen is situated in Group 15th and has an atomic number of 7.
  • The first shell of nitrogen has 2 electrons and the outer shell or valence shell of nitrogen has 5 electrons, hence, the number of valence electrons in the nitrogen atom is 5.
  • The orbital diagram for nitrogen is drawn by following three principles – the Aufbau principle, Hund’s principle, and Pauli’s exclusion principle.
  • The nitrogen orbital diagram comprises three orbitals. The three orbitals are 1s, 2s, and 2p.
  • The first two electrons will go in the 1s orbital, the next two in the 2s orbital, and the last three in the 2p orbital.
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