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Sodium Nitride Formula

Last updated date: 29th Feb 2024
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What is Sodium Nitride Chemical Formula?

Sodium Nitride is an inorganic compound, as it does not have carbon-hydrogen atoms. As suggested by the chemical formula, sodium nitride contains highly unstable alkali metal nitride. Sodium is an element of group 1 in the periodic table. Here, the electrons are created single free electrons by losing 1+ions, i.e Na+

Nitrogen belongs to the group 5 elements of the periodic table. Nitride ions are formed by gaining three electrons and form 3- ions, i.e, N3- ions. They are obtained by combining atomic beams of nitrogen and sodium, which are deposited on the low-temperature substrate of sapphire. The molecular mass of sodium nitride is 82.976 g/mol. The ionic component is formed by balancing the constituent ions. i.e, here, ionic components are formed by balancing three sodium ions with single nitride ions. 

The molecular or chemical formula for sodium nitride is Na3N.  Since sodium nitride is highly unstable. Sodium nitride has the ability to readily decompose into its elements, that is sodium and nitrogen. 

2 Na3N → 6 Na + N2

(Formula of Sodium Nitride)

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Structure of Sodium Nitride  

The sodium nitride formula shows the anti-ReO structure. Further, sodium nitride consists of a simple lattice, which is made of NNa Octaherdra. The length of the N-Na bond is about  236.6 pm. The structural formation of sodium nitride can be recorded through the X-ray diffraction method. Sodium amide and Sodium imide have a similar anion as sodium nitride. Likewise, Lithium nitride and Potassium nitride have a similar cation.

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Chemical Properties of Sodium Nitride

1. Sodium nitrate shows 90% ionic and its bandgap equivalent to the semiconductors at its room temperature. 

2. Sodium nitride appears in reddish-brown to dark blue in colour. The colour of sodium nitrides is dependent on their synthesis process. 

3. Sodium nitride does not have boiling point. 

4. The ionic compounds of sodium and nitrogen have very high melting points and boiling points. This is due to the strong electrostatic attraction between the oppositely charged ions. 

5. Sodium nitride can form with an enthalpy rate at about +64 kJ/mol

6. Sodium nitrides can soluble in water

7. Sodium nitride will decompose around 86.85 C or 360 Kelvin.

Synthesis of Sodium Nitride

Sodium nitride can be synthesized by the direct method or by thermal decomposition of NaNH2. When sodium is introduced into nitrogen, sodium forms and cavities open up in the structures as sodium ions and they will rearrange themselves and accommodate near nitrogen. The conduction band of s electrons is formed when the sodium ions move closer to nitrogen. Here, the energy band gap present between them is equivalent to semiconductors or insulators, while creating a metallic compound. 


Sodium nitride is an inorganic compound, which means it does not have carbon-hydrogen bonds. Sodium nitrides are highly unstable alkali metals. So, they can easily decompose to form sodium and nitrogen ions. Lithium nitride and potassium nitride have a similar cation but they are stable alkali metals. The formula for sodium nitride (Na3N)can be synthesized by thermal decomposition of NaNH2  or by a direct reaction method. They are widely used for food preservation.

FAQs on Sodium Nitride Formula

1. What is Sodium Nitride Made of?

Ans: Sodium nitride is an inorganic compound. The chemical formula of sodium nitride is Na3N. Usually, sodium nitride is extremely unstable alkali metal nitrides, and different from lithium nitride and other nitrides. Sodium nitride can be generated by combining atomic beams of sodium and nitrogen settled on the low-temperature sapphire substrate. 

2. What is Sodium Nitride Used For?

Ans: Sodium nitride can be used as a food preservative. Sodium nitride chemical formula depicts it as an antidote to cyanide poisoning. Sodium Nitride Na3N plays an important as an antimicrobial and antihypertensive agent for food preservations and food antioxidants.