Cl2O Lewis structure, Characteristics: 13 Facts You Should Know


This article explain drawing Cl2O Lewis structure, shape, formal charge, resonance in Cl2O. As next part, the bond angle, octet rule, Cl2O Lewis structure lone pairs of Valence electron, covalent nature, hybridization, solubility, and Cl2O polarity also being elaborated.

Dichlorine monoxide is the chemical name for Cl2O. Oxygen atom has got two chlorine atoms around it in Cl2O Lewis structure. The covalent compound is formed by sharing electrons between the Chlorine (Cl) atom and Oxygen (O). 3 lone pairs in each Chlorine atoms and oxygen atom with 2 electrons lone pair present in the Lewis structure of Cl2O.

How to draw Cl2O Lewis structure?

It has 4 steps as below:

Step 1:  Have the number of valence electrons

Chlorine can be seen in the group of halogens in the 17th group of periodic table and oxygen is falls in the 16thgroup as they have got 6 valence electrons each.

Count of outermost valence shell electrons of chlorine atom in Cl2O = 7

Count of outermost valence shell electrons of oxygen atom in Cl2O = 6

Cl2O is with 2 chlorine atoms. Hence we see that total number of valence electrons as 7(2)+ 6 = 20.

Lewis Dot structure of Chlorine from wikimedia commons and oxygen from wikimedia commons
Lewis Dot structure of Chlorine from wikimedia commons and oxygen from wikimedia commons

Step 2: Find the center atom of the molecule.

The atom which has high number of valence electron and being most electropositive element is considered as a center atom in the molecule. Therefore in Cl2O, although chlorine has the seven valence electron but it is not considered as a central atom because to complete the octet configuration, it should possess two bonds around oxygen atom to fulfill its valence.

Oxygen is placed in center with 2 Chlorine atom surrounding it
Oxygen is placed in center with 2 Chlorine atom surrounding it

Step 3: To represent a bond between the atoms put two electrons

Insert the 2 electrons between each chlorine atom oxygen atom. With the insertion, the bonds are formed in Cl2O between each atoms in a molecule.

Bond formed between Chlorine and Oxygen
Bond formed between Chlorine and Oxygen

Step 4: The remaining non-bonded electrons are made distributed among the atoms of Cl2O to complete the octet between the atoms put two electrons

It has total 20 valence electrons in molecule of Cl2O. Oxygen-chlorine atoms bond is formed by 4 electrons and rest of the 16 electrons are non-bonded electrons.

Six electrons are taken by each chlorine atom from non-bonded electrons and two electron from single bond formed with oxygen to complete the octet. Since Cl2O molecule has two chlorine atoms in it, it takes 12 non-bonded electrons. Rest of the 4 non-bonded electrons to be kept on the central Oxygen atom and also four electrons are used in creating the single bond with the chlorine atoms. Therefore Oxygen acquires a total eight electrons and forms an octet.

Lewis dot structure representation of Cl2O
Lewis dot structure representation of Cl2O

Cl2O Lewis structure resonance:

Cl2O Lewis structure has three resonance structure. Here are the three resonance structure for Cl2O, all accounting for the 20 valence electron.

The atoms in all three resonance structure have full octets; however, first structure will be more stable and thus it contribute more, because it has no separation of charges.

Charge separation is shown in Structures 2 and 3 caused by the presence of chlorine and oxygen atoms formal charges. Moreover, the presence of a positive charge on oxygen further reduces the stability of these two structures.

Cl2O Resonance Lewis structure
Cl2O Resonance Lewis structure

Cl2O Lewis structure shape:

The shape of Cl2O Lewis structure is bent or V shape. Due to four electron groups present in the Cl2O Lewis structure, it comes under tetrahedral for the electron-group geometry. The four electron groups are formed by two single bonds to Chlorine and two lone pairs of oxygen.

It’s molecular shape is bent due to lone pair electrons. As per VSERP theory, the electrons want to minimize repulsion which results in the lone pair, which are adjacent from each other.

Cl2O Lewis structure formal charge:

Formal charge nothing but the charge which is assigned to an atom so that equally shared electrons exists between the atoms in a molecule.

Formal charge= [Total number of valence electron in free state]-{[total

number of lone pair electron] + 1/2[total number of bonding

electron]}

In the case of Oxygen:

Number of valence electron in Oxygen =6

Total number of lone pair electron = 4

Total number of bonding electron = 4

Formal charge of Oxygen= 6-{4+1/2(4)}

                            = 0

Formula charge on Oxygen atom in Dichlorine monoxide Lewis structure is 0

For Chlorine:

Number of valence electron in Chlorine =7

Total number of lone pair electron in Chlorine= 6

Total number of bonding electron = 2

Formal Charge of Chlorine =7-{6+1/2(2)}

                             =0

The Chlorine atom in Cl2O Lewis structure has a formal charge of 0.

Cl2O Lewis structure angle:

The bond angle between the Oxygen and Chlorine atoms is 110.9˚

The electronegative value of Oxygen and Chlorine is 3.44 and 3.16 respectively. As per VSERP theory, it can be seen that Oxygen atom is more electronegative than Chlorine. Hence, we observe shared electrons are near to the oxygen atom creating repulsion in turn increasing the bond angle.

Cl2O Lewis structure angle
Cl2O Lewis structure angle

Cl2O Lewis structure octet rule:

Cl2O Lewis structure has complete octet configuration due to the fact that, number of outermost shell electrons in Chlorine atom is eight. Oxygen central atom also have eight electron in its outermost shell. Therefore both Chlorine and Oxygen atom has complete octet configuration.

Cl2O Lewis structure lone pair:

Lone pair electron of Oxygen in Dichlorine monoxide Lewis structure = 2.

Number of lone pair electrons in each Chlorine atom of Cl2O molecule Lewis structure is 3.

Valence electrons in Cl2O:

Electronic configuration of Oxygen is [He] 2s2 2p4

Number of outermost electrons which are present in Oxygen is six. Hence it the outermost electrons are present in the 2s and 2p orbital.

Electronic configuration of Chlorine is [Ne] 3s23p5

Outermost electrons present in the Chlorine is 7

Two Chlorine atoms present in the Dichlorine monoxide therefore, the total number of valence electrons of Cl2O is 7(2)+6=20.

Cl2O hybridization:

The type hybrid orbitals used by the oxygen atom in Cl2O molecule is sp3.

We see that, in Cl2O molecule Oxygen is the central atom. Oxygen forming 2 bonds with the atoms of chlorine and consists of 2electron lone pair. So, total four hybrid orbitals are required which are formed by mixing one s orbitals and three p orbitals.

Cl2O Solubility:

It is soluble in Water and Organic solvent such as Carbon tetrachloride

Why Cl2O is soluble in water?

Cl2O is a non-metallic oxide which acts as acids towards the water and produces acidic solution that is hydrochlorous acid (HOCl). HOCl is very weak but is a strong oxidizing acid.

How Cl2O is soluble in water?

Cl2O is the anhydrite of hydrochlorous acid. When Cl2Ois dissolved in H2O, it forms equilibrium with HOCl. The formation of hydrochlorous acid is as below.

Cl2O+H2O⇌2HOCl

Is Cl2O is ionic?

Cl2O is not ionic compound but it is covalent compound.

Why Cl2O is not ionic?

Ionic compounds are the one where complete transfer of electrons happen. The metal atom donates the electron and this donated electron is accepted by the non-metal atom.

But if we see it in Cl2O, complete transfer of electrons does not take place. But sharing of electrons happens in this molecule. Hence Cl2O is a covalent compound. Oxygen and Chlorine are seen to be non-metal compounds of similar electronegativity, therefore ionic bond is not present.

How Cl2O is not ionic?

The difference between electronegativity of Oxygen and Chlorine in Cl2O molecule is 0.28, which lesser than 1.5 which comes under covalent character.

Is Cl2O is acidic or basic?

It is acidic in nature.

Why Cl2Ois acidic?

Cl2O is a non-metallic oxide which acts as acids towards the water and produces acidic solution.

How Cl2O is acidic?

Cl2O is the anhydrite of hydrochlorous acid which is very weak but it acts as strong oxidizing agent.

Is Cl2O polar or non-polar?

Cl2O is polar in nature.

Why Cl2O is polar?

Polar nature of Cl2O is based on two facts as given below

  • Due to the presence of the net dipole moment of oxygen and chlorine atoms bond will not cancel each other which makes the Cl2O a polar molecule.
  • The difference between electronegativity values for oxygen and Chlorine is 0.28 which is lower. Therefore they have less intensity of polarity.

How Cl2O is polar?

There exists a net dipole moment in Dichlorine monoxide there but quite weak in intensity.

Is Cl2O tetrahedral?

Cl2O is not in tetrahedral shape.

Why Cl2O is not in tetrahedral shape?

In Cl2O molecule, the central oxygen atom contains both bond pair and lone pair then the structure gets deviated as predicted from ideal shape that is tetrahedral to bent shape.

How Cl2O is not in tetrahedral shape?

It falls under tetrahedral for the electron-group geometry as Cl2O Lewis structure has four electron groups in it. Two single bonds to Chlorine and two lone pairs of oxygen forms four electron group.

Due presence of lone pairs in Cl2O, it’s molecular shape is bent. As per VSERP theory, the lone pair are adjacent as the electrons want to minimize repulsion.

Is Cl2O Linear?

Cl2O is not in linear shape.

Why Cl2O is not in linear shape?

The hybridization of Cl2O is sp3 therefore it is not in linear shape.

How Cl2O is not in linear shape?

If the molecule has sp hybridization then the shape of molecule is linear.

But the hybridization of Cl2O is sp3. Hence, there exist total 4 hybrid orbitals of same energy which will stabilize the molecules overall structure. 

Conclusion:

This article described how to draw the Lewis structure for dichlorine monoxide, resonance structure, valence electron, lone pair of electron. It also helps to understand sp3 hybridization, polarity of the molecule, solubility property and acidic property of Cl2O.

Supriya Upadhya

Hi....I am Supriya Upadhya, a Post Graduate in Organic chemistry with good understanding of Chemistry concepts and worked as Junior research fellow in synthesis of anti cancer agent. Also worked on Anti-Microbial Polymer synthesis as part of Post graduate thesis. Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/supriya-upadhya-1223a716a/

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