- Introduction to Nitrogen Chemistry
- Nitrogen Hydrides
- Nitrogen Halides
- Nitrogen Oxides
- Comparison of Nitrogen and Phosphorus
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Just as there is a range of neutral nitrogen-oxygen compounds with the nitrogen in a corresponding range of oxidation states, so too there is with nitrogen oxy-anions.
Element N occurs as gaseous N2 (which is unreactive due to the high energy required to break the strong triple bond), whereas P occurs in many allotropes, including white phosphorus, P4, which all contain P-P single bonds. P4 is very reactive due to the bond strain in the tetrahedral P4 molecule.
All nitrogen oxides are thermodynamically unstable with respect to decomposition to N2 and O2, but they are kinetically stable, ie. the rate of decomposition is very slow.
The binary nitrogen halides are thermodynamically unstable with respect to decomposition to the elements, with the exception of NF3.
Nitrogen has electronic configuration [He]2s22p3, and accessible oxidation states from -3 to +5. It has more valence electrons than orbitals (2x2s and 3x2p = 5, in 4 orbitals), so lone pairs play an important role in its chemistry.