I have taken nitrophenol just for referenceIn many different cases of Nitro group I have seen that only one oxygen atom is particularly used for hydrogen bonding but not the other one.But I guess both the bonds should be polar and hence show hydrogen bonding.

Please explain.

  • $\begingroup$ I have just used nitro phenol for reference. $\endgroup$ Jul 31 at 2:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes, both N-O bonds are equivalent, so either can form hydrogen-bonds. However, both oxygens forming hydrogen bonds at the same time is probably unlikely due to geometry constraints. $\endgroup$
    – S R Maiti
    Jul 31 at 3:26

The oxygen atoms are indistinguishable. That they look distinct is an artifact of the Lewis notation. There are examples when both are acting as hydrogen bond acceptor.


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