Chemists use Lewis dot structures to represent the bonding schemes in molecules. The concept of Lewis structures primarily relies on the octet rule, which states that most atoms prefer eight electrons in their outermost shells. The electrons surrounding each atom can either reside on the atom itself, which chemists refer to as a “lone pair,” or be shared between two atoms. Lewis dot structure provides a remarkably simple and effective method of visualizing bonding schemes, but constructing a proper Lewis structure starts with the identification of the central atom, or the atom to which most of the other atoms bond.
How to Determine Which Atom to Use As the Central AtomBy Jack Brubaker
- Salisbury University: Drawing Lewis Structures - A Review
- Purdue University, Department of Chemistry: Lewis Structures
- Indiana University Northwest, Department of Chemistry: Electronegativity and Polar Bonds
- University of Maine, Department of Chemistry: The Rules -- Lewis (“Electron Dot”) Structures