SeO3 Lewis Structure: Drawing, Hybridization, Shape, Charges, Pair, and Detailed Facts


SeO3 lewis structure is very simple and easy to represent. It is a polyatomic molecule with one selenium atom and 3 oxygen atoms. Its lewis structure and properties associated with it are described in this article.

SeO3 lewis structure atoms selenium and oxygen belong to group 16 of the periodic table with 6 valence electrons. So to complete their octet stability 3 oxygen atoms will share their 2 electrons each with a central Se atom forming double covalent bonds. Se being a hypervalent species will form an expanded octet.

SeO3 lewis structure

SeO3 lewis structure is a white color hygroscopic solid. Like SeO2 lewis structure, it does not have a molecular existence. In solid-phase SeO3 lewis structure is in the form of cyclic tetramer comprising of (Se-O)4 8 membered rings. As the Se atom in these tetramers is 4-coordinated, the bond length of bridging Se-O and non-bridging Se-O varies a lot.

The bridging Se-O bond length is 175 pm and 181 pm. On the flip side, the non-bridging Se-O is 156 and 154 pm. SeO3 lewis structure also shows the property of sublimation. In the gaseous phase, it is in the form of tetramers and monomers with a Se-O bond length of 168.78 pm.

SeO3 lewis structure is a strong oxidizing agent and a lewis acid. Its preparation is very difficult as compared to its dioxide counterparts. This is because it is unstable and decays into SeO2 and O2. Under extreme temperature conditions, SeO3 lewis structure can be synthesized by dehydration of selenic acid with phosphorous pentoxide. Another common method is when there is a reaction between liquid SO3 and K2SeO4 which gives K2SO4 and SeO3 as products.

Selenium usually does not exist in its elemental form. Its oxides are found in various pyrite ores if we replace the sulfur component from ore. SeO3 lewis structure existence is also spotted in silver, copper, lead, and nickel minerals. SeO3 lewis structure is very toxic. But its other variations and chemical compositions are important for cellular functioning in animals.

SeO3 lewis structure is the active center for many enzyme secretions specifically deiodinase enzymes. Apart from this, it is used in the manufacture of photovoltaic and photoelectric cells. Renewable energy sources like solar energy devices can also be made from it. Rest SeO3 lewis structure does not have many commercial and industrial usages. It is either used in academic or laboratory settings.

The polyatomic molecule SeO3 lewis structure is very significant in predicting many other properties related to the structure. So the SeO3 lewis structure is explained in a stepwise manner.

How to draw SeO3 lewis structure?

SeO3 lewis structure has selenium and oxygen. Selenium (Atomic number = 34 and electronic configuration = 2,8,18,6) and oxygen (Atomic number = 8 and electronic configuration = 2,6) belongs to group 16 of the periodic table. As both of them belong to the same chalcogen family, so they have 6 electrons in their valence shell. So the total number of valence electrons in SeO3 lewis structure is 6 + 3×6 = 24 valence electrons.

Out of Se and O, Se will be the central atom as it has less electronegativity as compared to oxygen. So it will have an easy tendency to divert electron cloud towards the oxygen atoms thereby making sharing of electrons easy. Now to complete the octet stability criteria of SeO3 lewis structure, 3 oxygen atoms will share their 2 electrons each with a selenium atom. This will result in the formation of a double covalent bond.

Selenium being a hypervalent species and an exception to the octet rule will be able to adjust more than 8 electrons. This is because of the availability of extra d-orbitals that can form an expanded octet. So in the SeO3 lewis structure, there are 3 bond pairs which are 3 double covalent bonds between Se and O. The lone pair of electrons on the selenium central atom is 0. The formal charge of the SeO3 lewis structure for each atom is 0 which further confirms the stability and reliability of the structure.

Going through the SeO3 lewis structure opens doors to many other properties related to structure and chemical bonding which are individually discussed and listed below:

SeO3 lewis structure lone pair

Lone pairs of electrons are those valence electrons that do not participate in chemical bond formation during molecular structure assemblance. They are like those extra electrons which are left aside after completion of stability criteria. They neither participate in sharing nor in donation and acceptance.

IN the context of SeO3 lewis structure, the lone pairs of central atom selenium are taken into consideration. Now selenium has 6 valence electrons which are shared by 2 electrons of  3 oxygen atoms by a double covalent bond. So this leads to 3 bond pairs and 0 lone pairs on the central selenium atom making it SeO3 lewis structure polyatomic symmetrical molecule in nature.

SeO3 lewis structure octet rule

The octet rule is based on the fact that each shell or orbit can accommodate a maximum of 8 electrons for stability to the nearest noble gas which is stable in its elemental form and hardly participate in chemical reactions. 

The intention behind the formation of SeO3 lewis structure is the stability of its elemental constituents Se and O which actually cannot exist in their elemental form due to the absence of 8 electrons in their valence shell. SeO3 lewis structure formation is formed by sharing of electrons between central atom Se and 3 O atoms.

The 3 O atoms have 6 valence electrons and need 2 more to complete the octet. They can do so by sharing 2 electrons with Se resulting in 3 covalent bonds. Selenium on the flip side in SeO3 lewis structure is an anomaly to the octet rule. Due to the availability of d-orbitals, it can adjust more than 8 electrons and be stable. This exceptional behavior is called expanded octet and the elements which show this behavior are called hypervalent species. So Se in the SeO3 lewis structure holds 12 electrons in its valence shell.

SeO3 lewis structure hybridization

Hybridization is based on the concept that atomic orbitals intermix during molecule formation and form hybrid orbitals with different properties. These hybrid orbitals are involved in covalent bond formation. Electrovalent bonds do not show hybridization as there is gain and loss of electrons instead of sharing.

To understand the hybridization of SeO3 lewis structure it is important to look out for bonding and the lewis structure formation. Here three double covalent bonds are formed between Se and O which means that there is 1 sigma bond and 1 pi bond.

Also at the time of bonding, the d-orbitals of Se overlap with the p-orbital of oxygen. So the hybridization of SeO3 lewis structure is sp2 where one s and two p orbitals are hybridized.

SeO3 lewis structure shape

The shape of the molecule can be judged from all the above properties combined. In the SeO3 lewis structure, there is the presence of 3 double bonds between Se=O. There is no lone pair of electrons on the central Se atom. So this means that the molecule is symmetrical and there are no repulsions and distortions. According to VSEPR theory and hybridization of the molecule, the geometry and shape are trigonal planar. Hence the SeO3 lewis structure is trigonal planar in shape with a bond angle of 120 degrees.

SeO3 lewis structure formal charge

The formal charge of a molecule is really important to identify the reliability and authenticity of the molecule. It is a verification that decides whether the lewis structure formed can exist or not. So it can be called an identification which is done after drawing the lewis structure. Chemically it can be defined as a charge that resides on an atom if all the bonding electrons are shared equally. The formal charge on each atom should be zero for the molecule to qualify as a desired lewis structure. The formula for the formal charge is

FC = V – N – B/2

Where FC = formal charge

            V = no. of valence electrons

            N = no. of non-bonding electrons

            B = no. of bonding electrons

Coming back to SeO3 lewis structure then it is a symmetrical molecule with trigonal planar geometry. So the formal charge on all the oxygen atoms present in SeO3 lewis structure will be the same.

FC for Se in SeO3 lewis structure: 6 – 0 -12/2 = 0

FC for O in SeO3 lewis structure: 6 – 4 -4/2 = 0

SeO3 lewis structure resonance

Resonance also called mesomerism is a way where a particular compound or molecule does not have a fixed structure but a combination of several contributing structures. Here there is no single structure but various canonical and resonance structures which explain the properties and behavior of the molecule.

In the SeO3 lewis structure like any other resonance structure, there is delocalization of electrons and movement of bonds which can be best described diagrammatically. All zero non-formal charges are also added. There are 3 resonance structures of SeO3.

SeO3 lewis structure polarity

The polarity of the molecule can be judged from its dipole moment. The major electronegativity difference and the vector direction decide the dipole moment. As far as SeO3 lewis structure is concerned then over here the electronegativity difference between selenium and oxygen is not substantial to be called a polar molecule. Another aspect that reconfirms its non-polarity is the shape of the molecule which is trigonal planar. The trigonal planar shape is symmetrical. So SeO3 lewis dot structure is non-polar with an overall zero net dipole moment.

SeO3 lewis structure (Related FAQs)

Explain the solubility of the SeO3 lewis structure.

SeO3 lewis structure is an inorganic polymorphic compound. So it is highly soluble in water. But it is not at all soluble in organic solvents.

What is the oxidation of Se in SeO3 lewis structure?

From the formula, we can easily find the oxidation number of Se in the SeO3 lewis structure. Now let us assume that the oxidation number of Se in SeO3 lewis structure is x. The oxidation number of oxygen in SeO3 lewis structure is -2. Hence,

x + 3(-2) = 0

x – 6 = 0

x = 6.

So the oxidation number of Se in the SeO3 lewis structure is 6.

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