# Oxidation states the elements in nitrosyl chloride

I have read that $$\ce{NOCl}$$ dissociates to $$\ce{NO+}$$ and $$\ce{Cl-},$$ and the various reasons stated as such seem fine.

But what I don't get is this: if we follow the actual rules of assigning oxidation numbers, we find that nitrogen has got an unit positive charge with an unit positive charge on chlorine too (if we follow the structure of $$\ce{NOCl}$$ closely).

So, am I wrong in judging the oxidation number of nitrogen in $$\ce{NOCl}$$ to be $$+1$$ instead of $$+3,$$ as the dissociation of $$\ce{NOCl}$$ seems to go against my interpretation? What should be the oxidation number of nitrogen in $$\ce{NOCl}$$ in that case?

• – andselisk Feb 15 at 11:09
• If i assume the reverse case then we would have cl+ which is much much less stable than a cl- ion.It is better to have a positive charge on NO as it can be resonance stabilised.I'm just a 11th grader and i've been taught to believe that whenever i get a positively chared halide radical,it's a red flag for me(positive charge is really unstable on a halide radical but not practically impossible) – Abhinav Tahlani Feb 15 at 11:37