On the other hand, why occasionally nitrogen creates 4 bonds?
I"d favor to try answer the question from the title concerning the maximum number of atoms nitrogen is qualified of bonding with, and also slightly expand my comment.
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Metal nitrido complexes are commonly known to have actually up come 6 metal centers bound with a solitary bridging $\ceN3−$ ion, located in an octahedral cavity. An interstitial nitrogen can contribute 5 electrons, and also the remainder is listed by the team 9 and also 10 steels which space electron-rich (typically, $\ceRh$, $\ceIr$).
There are few more exceptions whereby formal C.N. Because that nitrogen is 7: complexes of lithium amides based on $\ce\Li14N10\^6-$ cluster structure <1,2> and an consist of nitrido-cluster $\ce\Co2RhN2\^3-$ <3>. Unfortunately in both crystal structures <1,2> with 6- and also 7-fold combination nitrogens the $\ceN-Ar$ teams those are heavily disordered. Framework <3> is more suitable for the representation.
Cluster core wireframe version without carbonyl ligands:
Atom $\mathrmN1$ through C.N. 7 is coordinated through 6 cobalts and 1 rhodium, creating a capped trigonal prism.
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Interestingly enough, $\mathrmCo1$ is a capping atom, no rhodium:
N1 SYMM Co5 Co4 Co6 Co3 Co2 Rh1 Co1Co5 1.90 i - - - - - - - Co4 1.91 i 135.0 - - - - - - Co6 1.92 i 79.5 80.2 - - - - - Co3 1.98 i 129.7 85.1 80.2 - - - - Co2 2.00 ns 82.3 140.2 128.4 75.4 - - - Rh1 2.18 ns 80.7 81.1 128.3 144.9 95.3 - - Co1 2.43 ns 143.5 70.3 136.5 66.4 70.1 78.6 - Both interstitial nitrogens pat the role of internal ligands, which carry out cluster valence electron (CVE), but don"t add to steric hindrance between external ligands such as carbonyls, make the cluster more stable <4, ch. 1.18>