Clo- lewis structure, Characteristics:13 Facts You Should Know

This article is regarding clo- lewis structure and its related properties like bond angle, lewis dot structure, acidic characters, and polarity or non-polarity.

The clo- lewis structure is commonly known as Hypochlorite ion, also known as chlorine oxoanion, is a monovalent inorganic anion with the chemical formula clo-. 

It can combine hypochlorite salts and form a variety of cations to produce hypochlorite salts. Because these salts are mostly unstable in their pure form, all these salt are present in an aqueous solution.

How to draw Clo- lewis structure?

The electron’s Lewis structure is graphically depicted by assigning valence electrons around the atoms. We will discover what type of bond formation or how many bonds are formed in the molecules by learning how to draw Lewis structure.

It is a very simple molecule because it contains only two atoms with one negative charge.

Steps in drawing the clo- lewis structure :

Step1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons in the system.

In the Clo- lewis structure chlorine consists of seven valence electrons and on the other hand, oxygen consists of six valence electrons in its outermost shell. In addition to this, a negative charge or sign on these molecules include one more valence electron pairs. Therefore, a total of 14 valence electrons are in the clo- molecules.

Step 2: Consider the central atom.

A diatomic molecules clo- molecule has no central atom. There is no need for a central atom because we cannot define which atom form bonds.

We can find the electronegativity value of chlorine and oxygen in a given molecule and predict the lewis structure. 

Thus chlorine and Oxygen have similar electronegative values so, we can not predict which one becomes the central atom so we place each atom adjacent to each other. 

Step 3: Finish the octet.

Clo- lewis structure consisting two atoms one is oxygen and one is carbon, thus it is a diatomic molecule and both of the atoms acquire eight valence electrons to complete its octet. This will show that one clo- lewis structure required 14 valence electrons for completing the octet.

Step 4: Make structure.

In clo- molecule, Chlorine(Cl) and oxygen(O) are arranged in such a manner that are adjacent to one another. Out of 14 valence electrons, 2 electrons form a single bond between Cl-O.

Step 5: Assign the valence electron to the valence atom.

Assign the valence electrons to each atom and complete its octet and make a stable lewis structure.

Clo- lewis structure resonance

When a molecule or ion has more than one valid Lewis structure then resonance occurs. The resonance hybrid is the weighted average of these resonance structures that determines the overall electronic structure of the molecule/ion.

Thus hypochlorite ion(clo-) in individual form does not show resonance.

Clo- lewis structure shape

The clo- lewis structure is formed by two atoms that are called diatomic molecules. According to this result, a diatomic molecule shows a linear shape and a simple spatial arrangement.

As a molecule is linear so both the atoms are situated in a straight line. The clo- lewis structure contains a single bond between cl-o and 3-3 lone pairs on each.

Clo- lewis structure shape from Wikimedia

Thus the clo- molecule follows lone pair- lone pair = lone pair- bond pair repulsion on both sides. The shape of the clo- lewis structure is linear.

Clo- lewis structure formal charge

A formal charge is created when an electron is redistributed between two atoms and the charge is occupied by these atoms for the bonds.

The formal charge = No. of valence electrons – no of lone pair electrons –   ½ no. of bonded pair electrons.

Clo- formal charge

The formal charge on chlorine atom =  No.of valence electron of chlorine = 7,No. of lone pair electrons on chlorine = 6,No. of bond pair electrons around chlorine = 2

F.C. on Cl = (7 – 6 – 2/2) = 0

Similarly, The Formal charge on  oxygen atom= No.of valence electron of oxygen = 6, No. of lone pair electrons on oxygen = 6, No. of bond pair electrons around oxygen = 2

F.C. on O = (6 – 6 – 2/2) = -1Thus overall formal charge on Clo- molecule =-1. This is the most stable molecule.

Clo- lewis structure angle

In the clo- molecule, molecular geometry is linear and the electron geometry is tetrahedral. So, the bond angle of the molecule is 180º with a formal charge = -1. 

Thus the clo- lewis structure is stable with sp3 hybridization and with a 180º bond angle.

Clo- lewis structure octet rule

When each atom becomes stable by gaining eight electrons in its outermost shell, then the molecules said that it follows the octet rule. So, in the case of hypochlorite(Clo-) ions, they consist of Chlorine and Oxygen atom with seven and six valence electrons. 

So chlorine is less electronegative than oxygen and exhibits a central atom and obeys the octet rule and so on oxygen. Hence we can say that the clo- molecule obeys the octet rule.

Clo- lewis structure lone pairs

The lone pair electrons are also called non-binding electrons, they are not participating in any chemical bond formation on the other hand bond pair electrons participate in the bonding of that molecules.

In the clo- lewis structure there are 12 lone pair electrons are present on the Chlorine(3 pair) and Oxygen(3 pair) atoms and a single bond between Cl-O(contain 2 electrons).

Clo- valence electrons

It is called valence electrons when the electrons are located in the outermost shell of the atom. In the molecule clo-, the chlorine atom lies in the 17th group of the periodic table and oxygen in the 16th group.

So, the valence electrons in chlorine = 7 and the valence electrons in oxygen = 6. Total valence electron in clo- molecule =7+6+1= 14.

Clo- hybridization

When two atomic orbitals of the same energy level are mixed for the generation of a new hybrid degenerate orbital the process is called Hybridization. For finding the hybridization of a molecule we should know its steric number.

Steric no. = Bonding atom + Lone pair on the central atom. In the clo- molecule any atom becomes the central atom, so, we consider chlorine as the central atom. 

∴ Steric number of Clo- = Bonded atoms attached to Chlorine + Lone pair on Chlorine.

∴ Steric number of Clo- = 1(bonded with oxygen atom) + 3(lone pair) = 4. So the hybridization of Chlorine in clo- the molecule is sp3 with linear shape and tetrahedral geometry.

Clo- solubility

The clo-(hypochlorite ion) is soluble in water.  It slowly decomposes in water, producing chlorine. Its compound is mostly found in salt form in the aqueous only and most of these hypochlorites are unstable, and many substances only exist in water.

Is Clo- ionic?

Yes, Hypochlorite(ClO-) is an ionic molecule that consists of chlorine and oxygen atom and has a chemical formula of clo-. This ionic Nature is due to the presence of -ve charge on the molecule.

Following is the equation regarding ionic character:

                                     2 ClO → 2 Cl + O2

Is Clo- acidic or basic?

The substance which accepts the protons in their aqueous solution is called the base. The clo- is basic due to the presence of lone pairs, it accepts the positive charge and is dissolved in water forming Hypochlorous acid.

The chemical reaction is:

ClO + H2O → HClO + OH

Thus, clo- is the conjugate base of HClO.

Is Clo- polar or nonpolar?

A molecule is said to be polar when there is the distribution of charge is unequal on atoms and has some net dipole moment, whereas nonpolar molecules are those which distribute the charge equally to each atom and have zero dipole moment.

The clo- lewis structure is a Polar structure because the distribution of charge is unequally on both the atoms present in it. This is due to the presence of a negative charge on one atom which makes it polar.

Thus Chlorine and oxygen atoms’ arrangement is unsymmetric which generates a net dipole moment and does not cancel out each other effect. So the net dipole moment is not zero which means the clo- the molecule is polar.

Is Clo- tetrahedral?

yes, Hypochlorite ion(clo-) is having tetrahedral geometry. On the Cl atom, the total number of lone pairs of electrons and bonding electrons in the molecule is four, and on the oxygen atom, it is also four. 

Thus lone pair is arranged in such a manner that lone-pair-lone-pair repulsion is less. This will leads to the sp3 hybridization and tetrahedral geometry.

Is Clo- linear?

Yes, clo- (hypochlorite) is a linear molecule. Because it contains only two atoms and these are arranged adjacent to each other in a straight line. 

The chlorine atom contains three lone pairs and oxygen also contains three lone pairs and a single bond exist between these two.


Hypochlorite is a highly unstable compound with all of the characteristics of a covalent molecule. The Lewis structure explains the presence of a dipole cloud on the molecule, which makes it more available for the cations. It has a linear structure as a result of valence electrons on both chlorine and oxygen atoms.

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