COF2 Lewis Structure, Characteristics:13 Facts You Should Know

In this article, “cof2 lewis structure” the detailed facts like lewis structure, shape, bond angle, formal charge with some relevant topics are discussed briefly.

COF2 or carbonyl fluoride is a tetra atomic molecule in which carbon is attached with one oxygen atom by one double bond and with two fluorine atoms by two single bonds. It is a trigonal planar molecule with bond angle 1200. This is a colourless gaseous compound with high toxic in nature.

How to draw COF2 lewis structure?

Lewis structure is nothing but one type of structural representation of any molecule in which nonbonding electrons are shown around the respective atoms.

These following steps must be followed to draw the lewis structure.

  • Determination of valance electron: Valance electrons play a very important role in drawing of lewis structure. Carbon, oxygen and fluorine have 4,6 and 7 electrons respectively in their valance shell.
  • Finding out the number of bonds and bonding electrons: In this molecule of carbonyl fluoride, total four covalent bonds (one pi and two sigma) are present between carbon, oxygen and fluorine. Thus, total (4×2=8) electrons are involved in the bond formation.
  • Finding out the nonbonding electrons: In this molecule each of the fluorine atom has six and oxygen has four nonbonding electrons around them.
cof2 lewis structure
COF2 Lewis structure

COF2 Lewis Structure Shape

Shape and geometry of any molecule can be decided by the following two factors-

  1. Hybridization of central atom
  2. Repulsion involving bond pairs and lone pairs.

If the second factor is absent in any molecule then the molecular shape resembles with the molecular geometry, ideal structure of any molecule. Repulsion can be three different types. They are-

  1. Lone pair -lone pair repulsion
  2. Lone pair-bond pair repulsion
  3. Bond pair – bond pair repulsion.

The impact order of this repulsion on the molecular shape is like –

bond pair -bond pair repulsion < Lone pair – bond pair repulsion < Lone pair- lone pair repulsion.

Carbon has four valance electrons and all the four electrons are involved in four bond formation Thus, no electrons are left for the above repulsive factors and it is not deviated from its ideal shape, trigonal planar and ideal bond angle 1200.

Shape of COF2

COF2 Lewis Structure Formal Charge

Formal charge is calculated to determine the most stable lewis structure by the calculation of the charge of each of the participating atoms.

  • Formal charge = Total number of valance electrons – number of electrons remain as nonbonded – (number of electrons involved in bond formation/2)
  • Formal charge of central carbon atom = 4 – 0 – (8/2) = 0
  • Formal charge of each of the fluorine atom = 7 – 6 – (2/2) = 0
  • Formal charge of oxygen atom = 6 – 4 – (4/2) = 0

COF2 Lewis Structure Angle

Angle implies the angle between two bonds in a molecule. Bond angle basically depends upon the hybridization of central atom and the repulsion (if present) in the molecule. Repulsion between bond pair- bond pair, lone pair-lone pair and lone pair-bond pair can deviate the bond angle from ideal.

COF2 is such type of molecule in which central atom (carbon) does not possess any lone pair. Thus, it is free from any lone pair-lone pair repulsion and lone pair-bond pair repulsion. So, it shows its actual shape and bond angle due to absence of any repulsion. COF2 is a triangular shaped molecule and the actual bond angle is 1200 as carbon is sp2 hybridized in this molecule.

COF2 Lewis structure Octet Rule

Octet rule is a very well known rule in chemistry which states that any atom should have that type of electron configuration which matches with its nearest noble gas. This electron configuration implies the lower energy state or stable state.

COF2 is that type of molecule in which all the atoms obey octet rule. Carbon has four valance electrons (1s2 2s2 2p2) and after forming four covalent bonds it gains four more electrons in its outer most shell and matches with its nearest noble gas electron configuration.

Similarly, oxygen has six electrons in its valance shell and after forming one sigma and pi bonds it also gains eight electrons and matches with the nearest noble gas neon’s outer most shell electron configuration. Each of the fluorine atom has seven electrons. After having one electron through the covalent bond formation with carbon it also achieves eight electrons in its outer most shell.

Thus, all the atoms satisfy octet rule in COF2.

COF2 Lewis Structure Lone Pairs

Lone pairs generally do not participate in any covalent or ionic bond formation. They remain as nonbonded electron pairs. They are also valance or outermost shell electrons but they are nonbonding electrons. They play an significant role in shape determination of any molecule.

  •  Nonbonded electron = Total number of valance electron – number of bonded electrons.
  • Nonbonding electron on carbon = 4 – 4 = 0
  • Nonbonding electron on oxygen = 6 – 2 = 4 or 2 pairs
  • Nonbonding electrons on each of the fluorine atom = 7 – 1 = 6 or 3 lone pairs

Thus, total lone pairs in this molecule is = [ 0 + (6×2) + 2 ] = 14

COF2 valence electrons

Valance electrons are those electrons which are revolving in the outer most shell of any atom. They are most loosely bound because nuclear attraction force on them is the lowest and they are the most reactive with respect to the inner shell electrons.

Carbon has total six electrons and its electron configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p2. Among them four electrons are in the valance shell. Oxygen has total eight electrons with electron configuration 1s2 2s2 2p6. Thus, it has six outer most shell electrons.

Fluorine has nine electrons (1s2 2s2 2p5). Among them 2s and 2p electrons are valance electrons. Thus, total number of valance electrons in fluorine is seven.

COF2 Hybridization

Hybridization is defined as the mixing of two atomic orbitals to generate the new hybrid orbital. The purpose of hybridization is to gain extra stability.

Hybridization strictly determines the structure of the molecule and it changes with the changing of central atom hybridization. For example, sp hybridized central atom directs the molecule to be linear, sp2,sp3 hybridized central atom leads one molecule to be planar and tetrahedral respectively.

In COF2, carbon is sp2 hybridized. One s and two p orbitals participate in this hybridization. Carbon forms one double bond with oxygen and two single bonds with fluorine atoms. The hybridization image is shown below.

COF2 Hybridization


COF2 Solubility

Carbonyl fluoride or COF2 is a gaseous compound with a molar mass 66.01 g/mol. It is soluble in water. But it also reacts with water and it has vapour pressure 55.4 atm in 200C.

Is COF2 ionic?

Ionic or covalency of any compound depends on the following factors like-

  • Electrons are shared or completely transferred between the atoms.
  • Melting point and boiling point of the compound is too much high or low.
  • Participating compounds are whether metal nonmetal composition or nonmetal- nonmetal combination

In COF2, all the atoms are nonmetal and melting point boiling point is not so high. Besides that, all the four bonds are covalent. Because the electrons between carbon, oxygen and fluorine are shared not completely transferred between them.

Thus, it is definitely a covalent compound.

Is COF2 acidic or basic?

Carbonyl fluoride or COF2 is acidic in nature. After dissolving in water it shows its acidic property and forms carbon dioxide (CO2) gas and hydrogen fluoride gas (HF). Both the products are acidic in nature.

COF2 + H2O → CO2 + 2HF

Is COF2 polar or nonpolar?

Polarity of any compound depends upon the following factor-

  1. Electronegativity difference between the atoms.
  2. Orientation of the bonds

In COF2, the electronegativity of carbon, oxygen and fluorine are 2.55, 3.44 and 3.98 respectively. It is said that if the electronegativity difference between the atoms is more than 0.4 then the molecule must be polar and the orientation of the bonds is also not opposite to each other.

Thus, it must possess a permanent dipole moment with 0.95D.

Is COF2 tetrahedral?

No, COF2 is not a tetrahedral molecule. In this compound, carbon is sp2 hybridized. So, it is a triangular planar molecule. To be tetrahedral molecule, central atom must be sp3 hybridized and have four substituent atoms.

Is COF2 symmetrical or asymmetrical?

COF2 is definitely a symmetrical element. It possesses C2v symmetry. That means this molecule has identity element (E), principal axis of rotation (C2) and two vertical planes of symmetry (σv and σv’).


From the above article we get the information that carbonyl fluoride is a trigonal planar molecule with bond angle 1200 and it has four covalent bonds (one pi and three sigma) in its structure and no lone pairs on the central atom (carbon).

Aditi Roy

Hello, I am Aditi Ray, a chemistry SME on this platform. I have completed graduation in Chemistry from the University of Calcutta and post graduation from Techno India University with a specialization in Inorganic Chemistry. I am very happy to be a part of the Lambdageeks family and I would like to explain the subject in a simplistic way. Let's connect through LinkedIn-

Recent Posts