ClF lewis structure, Characteristics: 13 Facts You Should Know


ClF is the chemical formula for chlorine fluoride. In this editorial we are discussing about ClF lewis structure and characteristics.

Chlorine fluoride (ClF) is the diatomic chemical compound including only chlorine and fluorine atoms. It is also known as chlorine mom- fluoride or fluoride chlorine which is a form of halohalides. It has molecular weight 54.45 g/mol. It is a non- colour gaseous compound but yellowish in colour when present in liquid form.

How to draw ClF lewis structure?

To draw the lewis structure there are some steps to follow:

Step – 1: Predict the group position of chlorine and fluorine atoms in the periodic table and note the valence electrons present in each chlorine and fluorine atom.

ClF molecule

Step – 2: Count the overall valence electrons present in ClF molecule.

Step – 3: Generally in any lewis structure, least electronegative atom will be the central atom. But in ClF molecule it is diatomic and having only two elements, thus both the Cl and F atoms get placed besides each other.

Step – 4: Make bonding between Cl and F atoms and reduce bonding electrons from total valence electrons. (Two electrons present in a single bond and being bond pairs as they engaged in bonding.)

Step – 5: Remaining valence electrons get put on both Cl and F atoms to complete its octet.

Step – 6: Check whether the atoms have complete or incomplete octet and count the non- bonding and lone pair electrons present on ClF lewis structure.

Step – 7: Finally calculate the formal charge present on ClF lewis structure.

ClF valence electrons

ClF is a diatomic molecule consisting of two halogen atom i.e. chlorine atom and fluorine atom. The chlorine atom is in the 17th group position of periodic table. Similarly, fluorine atom is also in the 17th group position of the periodic table. Thus, chlorine atom has seven electrons in its valence shell outer orbital. Likewise fluorine atom also contains seven valence electrons in its valence shell outer orbital.

Hence, the total valence electrons present in ClF lewis structure is calculated as follows:

Valence electrons present on chlorine atom is =07

Valence electrons present on fluorine atom is = 07

Thus, total valence electrons present on ClF lewis structure is = 07 (Cl) + 07 (F) = 14

Therefore, total fourteen valence electrons present on ClF lewis structure.

If we count the total electron pair present on ClF lewis structure then we have to divide total valence electrons by two.

Total electron pairs on ClF lewis structure = 14 / 2 = 07

Hence, total seven electron pairs are present on ClF lewis structure.

Valence electrons on ClF lewis structure

ClF lewis structure octet rule

Octet means eight electrons are present in any atoms outer valence shell orbital. If any atom has eight electrons in its valence shell outer orbital then it has a complete octet. In ClF lewis structure, it is diatomic and includes only two elements i.e. chlorine atom and fluorine atom which comes under halogen category.

They both Cl and F atoms belong with the 7th group position in the periodic table and have seven – seven valence electrons available on them respectively. Thus, we they form a single covalent bond between Cl and F atoms, they share one – one electron for bonding with each other.

Hence two electrons are being bond pair electrons between Cl and F atoms in ClF lewis structure, as each bond pair contains two electrons. Now Cl atom has eight electrons and similarly F atoms have eight electrons in ClF lewis structure. Therefore, the Cl and F atoms of ClF lewis structure has complete octets.

ClF lewis structure showing complete octet of Cl and F atoms

ClF lewis structure lone pairs

The ClF lewis structure consists of only two elements being a diatomic molecule. It has a chlorine atom and a fluorine atom present on it. The chlorine atom has 17th position in the groups of periodic table; likewise the fluorine atom also has 17th position in the groups of periodic table.

Thus the Cl atom has seven valence electrons and F atom has seven valence electrons present on it. Total 14 valence electrons are available on ClF lewis structure, out of which two electrons are get involved in bonding within Cl and F atoms. Hence, two electrons are being bond pair electrons as they form a single covalent bond between Cl and F atoms.

Now, we have left only 12 valence electrons for further more distribution on Cl and F atoms. Thus, six electrons occupy the place on chlorine atom and six electrons occupy the place on fluorine atom. So, the Cl atom has six non- bonding electrons and the fluorine atom has six non- bonding electrons present on it.

These six – six non- bonding electrons are being lone pair electrons present on it. Hence, in ClF lewis structure each Cl and F atom contains three lone pair electrons. So, ClF lewis structure has total six lone electron pairs.

ClF lewis structure formal charge

The positive or negative or neutral (zero) charges, present on the atoms of any lewis structure or molecule is known as the formal charge. Formal charge of any molecule can be calculated by using a formula as follows:

Formal charge = (valence electrons – non-bonding electrons – ½ bonding electrons)

We have to calculate the formal charge present on each atom of ClF lewis structure i.e. calculate the formal charge of chlorine and fluorine atom present in it.

Chlorine atom: Valence electrons on chlorine atom of ClF = 07

                         Non- bonding electrons on chlorine atom of ClF = 06

                         Bonding electrons on chlorine atom of ClF = 02 (one single bond)

Formal charge present on chlorine atom of ClF molecule is = (07 – 06 – 2/2) = 0

So, the chlorine atom of ClF lewis structure has zero formal charge present on it.

Fluorine atom: Valence electrons on fluorine atom of ClF = 07

                        Non- bonding electrons on fluorine atom of ClF = 06

                        Bonding electrons on fluorine atom of ClF = 2 (one single bond)

Formal charge present on fluorine atom of ClF lewis structure is = (7 – 6 – 2/2) = 0

So, the fluorine atom of ClF lewis structure has zero formal charge present on it.

Therefore, in ClF lewis structure C and F atoms has zero formal charges, thus the overall charge on ClF lewis structure is zero.

Zero formal charge present on ClF lewis structure

ClF lewis structure resonance

In ClF lewis structure, there is no such condition is present to draw the resonance structure. The chlorine atom and fluorine atom get bonded with a single covalent bond with each other. It is a diatomic molecule and don’t have central atom, but both adjacent Cl and F atoms have three lone electron pairs. Also there is no formal charge is present on ClF lewis structure. Thus, the resonance structure of ClF lewis structure is not possible.

ClF lewis structure shape

In ClF lewis structure, it is also a diatomic molecule containing only two atoms i.e. chlorine and fluorine atoms. These both atoms are placed adjacent to each other and both have three – three lone electron pairs.

Thus, it follows AXE3 generic formula of VSEPR theory and hence it has linear molecular geometry and tetrahedral electron geometry as there is only one bonded atom with no central atom and three lone pair electron. Therefore, Clf lewis structure has a linear and tetrahedral shape.

clf lewis structure
Tetrahedral and linear geometry of ClF lewis structure

ClF hybridization

Hybridization of any molecule can be determined by the finding its steric number. Hybridization of ClF molecule can be determine by finding the steric number of Cl or F atom as they both are adjacent to each other and there is no central atom in ClF molecule. There is a formula to calculate steric number.

Steric number is the sum or addition of total number of bonded atoms linked (attached) with central atom and lone pair of electrons present on it.

Steric number of ClF molecule = (no. of outer bonded elements or atoms attached with chlorine or fluorine atom + chlorine or fluorine atom’s lone pair of electrons)

As we can see the ClF lewis structure, Cl atom is attached to F atom and they both having three – three lone electron pairs.

So, ClF molecule steric number = 1 (bonded atom) + 3 (lone electron pair) = 4

Therefore, ClF lewis structure has four steric number thus it has sp3 hybridization.

Also as per VSEPR theory, ClF molecule follows AXE3 generic formula and having tetrahedral molecular geometry and linear shape thus it has sp3 hybridization.

ClF lewis structure angle

The ClF lewis structure is a diatomic molecule having two elements chlorine and fluorine atoms placed adjacent to each other. They both have three – three lone electron pairs present on them. So, as per the VSEPR theory it has followed AXE3 generic formula, according to which it has linear  molecular geometry and tetrahedral electron geometry.

As the ClF molecule has linear molecular geometry and linear electron geometry, it has sp3 hybridization as per the VSEPR theory. Thus, the ClF molecule has 109.5 degree bond angle within Cl-F single covalent bond forming between chlorine and fluorine atoms.

ClF solubility

Chlorine fluoride (ClF) is soluble in the following solvents or chemical compounds:

  • R-OH group containing compounds
  • Ether
  • Benzene
  • Toulene
  • Hexane
  • Acetic acid
  • Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) [but the reaction is explosive if added in high concentration]
  • Water

Is ClF ionic?

No, ClF is not ionic compound as it is a covalent compound forming covalent bond within chlorine and fluorine atoms.

Why ClF is not ionic?

ClF lewis structure has two atoms as it is a diatomic molecule. Chlorine and fluorine atoms are present in ClF lewis structure which is linked with each other by a single covalent bond. Covalent bond is a stronger bond which is not easily breaks down into ions. Thus, ClF is a covalent molecule and not ionic.

How ClF is not ionic?

ClF molecule is a covalent molecule. Thus, it has a strong bond. Both Cl and F atoms have seven valence electrons from which they get shared one – one electron with each other and form a single bond pair of electrons containing two electrons. Hence it get form a single covalent bond between Cl and F atoms and being a covalent molecule not ionic.

Is ClF acidic or basic?

Yes, ClF molecule can act both as a lewis acid and lewis base.

Why ClF is acidic and basic?

ClF molecule can act both as an acid and a base. It can act as a lewis base as it can accepts electrons from other lewis bases, thus act as a lewis acid. Also ClF molecule has total six lone electron pair, thus this molecule have much sufficient electron to donate to other compounds or lewis base, hence act as a lewis base.

How ClF is acidic or basic?

ClF molecule can form higher compound like ClF3 by accepting electrons from fluorine atoms as Cl atom has its d- orbitals vacant, therefore behaves as a lewis acid. Otherwise while reacting with strong acids like AsF5 it can accept a fluoride ion from potassium fluoride (KF).

Is ClF polar or nonpolar?

ClF is a polar molecule.

Why ClF is polar?

The electronegative of F is 4.0 and electronegative of Cl is 3.2. The difference between electronegativities of Cl and F is 0.8 which is more than 0.4. Thus, it forms a polar bond within Cl and F atom, which makes the ClF molecule polar in nature.

How ClF is polar?

The polar bond is present between Cl and F atoms. Due to which the dipole moment cause within the molecule which is in the direction of F atom. So, the dipole moment is not cancel out and the poles formed in the ClF molecule causing partial negative charge on F atom and partial positive charge on Cl atom. Thus ClF is a polar molecule.

Is ClF tetrahedral?

Yes, ClF is tetrahedral.

Why ClF is tetrahedral?

Electron geometry of ClF molecule is tetrahedral having AXE3 generic formula. Thus, it is tetrahedral.

How ClF is tetrahedral?

There are three lone pair electrons and one bonding atoms present in ClF molecule which has four bonding with three lone pair and one F atom. Thus is is a tetrahedral molecule.

Is ClF linear?

Yes, ClF molecule is linear.

Why ClF is linear?

The molecular geometry of ClF molecule is linear, thus is a linear molecule.

How ClF is linear?

The ClF molecule is a diatomic molecule in which the Cl and F atoms are placed adjacent to each other in a line, thus it is a linear molecule.

Conclusion:

ClF is a diatomic molecule having 14 valence electrons. It has one bond pair and six lone pair electrons. Octet of both Cl and F atoms are complete and no formal charge is present on it. It has both tetrahedral and linear geometry with sp3 hybridization and 109.5 degree bond angle. It acts as both lewis acid and base. It is a polar molecule.

Dr. Shruti Ramteke

Hello everyone I am Dr. Shruti M Ramteke, i did my Ph.D in chemistry. I have five years of teaching experience for 11-12 standard, B,Sc and MSc in chemistry subject. I have published total five research articles during Ph.D on my research work and i have fellowship from UGC for my Ph.D. My Masters with specilization Inorganic chemistry and my graduation with chemistry, zoology and environmental science subjects. thank You

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