SCL4 Lewis Structure: Drawings, Hybridization, Shape, Charges, Pair and Detailed Facts


SCl4 lewis structure involves elements which are adjacent to each other in the periodic table. Their detailed SCl4 lewis structure formation and properties are discussed in this article.

SCl4 lewis structure involves 1 sulphur atom and 4 chlorine atoms. Sulphur and chlorine have 2 and 1 valence electrons respectively. So there will be sharing of electrons where chlorine atoms will fulfil their octet by sharing 1 electron and sulphur will form an expanded octet.

SCl4 lewis structure or sulphur tetrachloride is an inorganic compound and has a whitish powdery appearance. It is obtained as a yellow pale solid and is unstable. Its counterpart SF4 named sulphur tetrafluoride is a stable reagent and is used in many important chemical inorganic reactions. 

Talking about SCL4 lewis structure physical and chemical properties then its molar mass is 173.87 g/mol and its melting point is -31 degrees celsius. Its boiling point is very low and stands at -20 degrees celsius. In fact above -30 degrees, celsius SCl4 lewis structure decomposes to sulphur dichloride and chlorine molecules

 SCl4 lewis structure on decomposition at -15 degree celsius SCl2 + Cl2

Throwing light on SCl4 lewis structure solubility then it is readily soluble in water. In an aqueous medium SCl4 lewis structure is hydrolyzed to SOCl2 and HCl.  In reality hydrolysis of SCl4 lewis structure does not give SOCl2, the final reaction produces hydrogen chloride (HCl) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). Thionyl chloride is an unstable intermediate in the hydrolysis process. SCl4 lewis structure does not have many usages in industry and academic laboratory. It is used in making fluorocarbons which are further used for making oil and water repellant polymers. SCl4 lewis structure is also used in the manufacture of lubricating elastomers and has some application in the herbicide and pharmaceutical industry.

SCl4 lewis structure though an exception is easy to represent and understand. Its structure formation involves certain concepts explained below

SCl4 lewis structure

How to draw the lewis structure for SCL4?

Count the number of valence electrons

SCl4 lewis structure formation involves certain steps which begin with getting information about the atoms involved. Here sulphur (Atomic number = 16 and electronic configuration = 2,8,6) belong to group 16 of the periodic table with 6 valence electrons. Similarly chlorine (Atomic number = 17 and electronic configuration = 2,8,7) belongs to group 17 with 7 valence electrons. So the total number of valence electrons in SCl4 lewis structure 6 + 7×4 = 34 

Find the central atom

Finding the central atom is the next step in the SCl4 lewis structure. The least electronegative element is preferred for this position as it can share electrons with other atoms easily. Over here sulphur is the less electronegative one and is chosen as the central atom.

Completion of octet stability

Now to complete the octet stability there will be sharing of electrons as both sulphur and chlorine are non-metals. The 4 chlorine atoms will share each of their electrons with the central sulphur atom to complete their octet. Sulphur on the other hand can adjust more than 8 electrons and form expanded octets due to the availability of d orbitals. So sulphur has 10 valence electrons after chemical bond formation.

Check the formal charge

The finale is to check the stability of the molecule drawn which can be done through formal charge. In the SCl4 lewis structure, the formal charge of sulphur and 4 chlorine atoms is 0 which confirms that the SCl4 lewis structure is appropriate and stable.

There are many other characteristics related with SCl4 lewis structure which define the structure. The significant ones are:\

SCl4 lewis structure shape

SCl4 lewis structure can easily explain the stability of the molecule but its shape and molecular geometry in the 3D frame can be explained by VSEPR theory. Over here sulphur is bonded to 4 chlorine atoms by single covalent bonds and sulphur has 1 lone pair of electrons. So the presence of bond pairs and lone pairs around sulphur will lead to repulsion and will push the atoms apart giving the SCl4 lewis structure a See-Saw shape. Hence SCl4 lewis structure will have a See-saw shape and trigonal bipyramidal geometry.

SCL4 lewis structure formal charge

The formal charge is calculated to confirm the stability of the structure and to check whether the structure is appropriate or not. The formal charge is calculated as:

FC = V – NBE – 1/2BE

Where V = valence electrons

              NBE = non-bonding electrons

              BE = bonding electrons

FC of sulphur in SCl4 lewis structure: 6 – 2 – 8/2 = 0

FC of chlorine in SCl4 lewis structure: 7 – 6 – 2/2 = 0

SCL4 lewis structure lone pairs

Lone pairs are those valence electrons which are usually left after the octet stability is achieved by the molecule. They neither participate in sharing nor in gaining and losing electrons. But their presence does affect a lot of other properties like molecular geometry, intermolecular forces etc. The lone pair around the central atom is given priority because they affect the whole lewis structure. 

In the SCl4 lewis structure after sharing electrons between the central sulphur atom and 4 chlorine atoms, there are 2 extra electrons left on the sulphur atom. Hence there is a single lone pair of electrons in the SCl4 lewis structure.

SCL4 lewis structure hybridization

The hybridisation of a molecule can be easily calculated with the help of steric numbers. It is the total of bonded atoms around the central atom and the lone pair of electrons. 

In the SCl4 lewis structure, the steric number is 5 as there are 4 fluorine atoms and 0ne lone pair of electrons. So accordingly the hybridization of the SCl4 lewis structure will be sp3d.

SCL4 lewis structure resonance

Resonance is a very important chemical phenomenon where a single structure is not able to explain the properties of the molecule. There are many canonical structures involved. But not every molecule can exhibit resonance.

SCl4 lewis structure does not exhibit resonance because there is no delocalization of electrons and there is the presence of single bonds. So there is no movement. Even though there is the presence of lone pairs of electrons, delocalization disturbs the stability factor. Hence there are no resonating structures of the SCl4 lewis structure and a single structure is responsible for explaining all the properties.

SCL4 lewis structure octet rule

The octet rule is a rule of thumb which says that all the main-group elements in the periodic table should have 8 electrons in their valence shell to be called stable. Most of the atoms are unstable in their elemental form, hence there is compound formation to complete the octet.

In the SCl4 lewis structure, the fluorine atom can complete its octet stability by sharing 1 electron with the sulphur atom. But the sulphur atom is an anomaly. It can form an expanded octet where it can adjust more than 8 valence electrons due to the availability of d orbitals. So sulphur in SCl4 lewis structure is a hypervalent species.

Frequently asked questions

Explain the polarity of the SCl4 lewis structure.

SCl4 lewis structure is polar. This is because of the electronegativity difference between sulphur and chlorine. Also, the SCL4 lewis structure is an asymmetric molecule where the dipoles do not nullify each other and it is moved in one direction confirming its polar nature.

Mansi Sharma

Hello, I am Mansi Sharma, I have completed my master's in Chemistry. I personally believe that learning is more enthusiastic when learnt with creativity. I am a Subject Matter Expert in Chemistry. Let's connect through LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mansi-sharma22

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