What is the empirical formula of a compound with the molecular formula #N_2O_4#?

1 Answer
Feb 29, 2016

Answer:

The empirical formula is the SIMPLEST whole number ratio that defines constituent atoms in a species. Does #N_2O_4# satisfy that definition?

Explanation:

Of course, the empirical formula of #N_2O_4# is #NO_2#. Why?

The equilibrium #N_2O_4(g) rightleftharpoons 2NO_2(g)# has been well-studied. Dimerization of #NO_2# to give #N_2O_4# can be rationalized on the basis that the Lewis structure of #NO_2# (with 17 valence electrons!) places a single electron on the cationic nitrogen centre: #""^(-)O-^*N^(+)=O#.