A pair of electrons occupying an orbital in an atom or molecule and not directly involved in bonding.
- Molecules that contain lone pairs of electrons (like ammonia or water) can use these to bond with metal atoms capable of receiving them.
- The oxygen atom of an ether functional group has two lone pairs of electrons.
- A very useful method for understanding and predicting molecular shapes that relies upon the role of the lone pair is called the Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion theory.
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