Xecl2 Lewis Structure& Characteristics: 13 Complete Facts

Xecl2 or xenon chloride is the only stable chloride of a xenon atom with a molecular weight of 202.199 g/mol. Let’s learn more about the structure of the xecl2.

Xecl2 is comprised of one xenon atom from the noble family of the periodic table and bonded singly with two chlorine atoms from the halogen family. Generally, it is synthesized by mixing xenon salt with chlorine in the presence of microwave via the discharge method.

Let’s discuss the interesting facts about the hybridization, lewis structure, molecular shape and formal charge present on the xecl2lewis structure.

How to draw xecl2 lewis structure?

XeCl2 lewis structure contains one xenon atom and two chlorine atoms. Let’s draw the Xecl2 lewis structure by following the below steps one by one:

Step1: Count total valence count

The xeCl2 lewis structure has a total of 22 valence electron counts for bonding. Xenon contributes 8 electrons and 14 by two chlorine atoms in the structure.

Step2: Selection of the central atom position

Now, Xe is placed at the centre due to its more electropositive character and Cl atoms are placed at the outer sides based upon the electronegative element,  more  electronegative atom will place at outer side.

Step3: Arrangement of the valence electrons

In this step, we will arrange 22  valence electrons between the participating atoms so that each atom will have a fully filled octet.

xecl2 lewis structure
Xecl2 lewis structure Figure.1


Xecl2 lewis structure resonance

Resonating structures always stabilize the system if the indented molecule can show resonance. Let’s see if the xecl2 lewis structure can show resonance or not.

Xecl2 lewis structure is not capable of showing any resonance. Due to large differences between the 5p and 2p orbitals, lone pairs of Xe can not overall with 2p orbital of chlorine.

Xe atom belongs to the 5th period and has 5p and 5d orbitals while chlorine belongs to 3 periods. Therefore, both orbitals are incompatible in terms of energy to show resonance.

Xecl2 lewis structure shape

Each molecule adopts such a way that the central atom does not face any repulsion from the neighboring atoms. Let’s discuss the shape of xecl2.

The shape of the the xecl2 lewis structure is linear. xecl2 also comes under AX2N3 type molecule with electronic trigonal bipyramidal geometry, corresponding to the linear shape, where xe is placed in the centre and the chlorine atoms towards the outer side. 

  • As per the AXN method,  
  • For xecl2
  • A = Xe = 1 ( stands for central atom)
  • X = Cl =2 (atom directly linked to the central atom)
  • N= lone pair = 3
  • Hence, it is an AX2N3 type molecule.

Xecl2 lewis structure formal charge

The total charge carried by any molecule is referred to formal charge. Let’s find the formal charge for the xecl2 lewis structure.

For xecl2, formal charge is zero and  calculated using the formula;

Formal charge calculations

 Xecl2 contains 22 valence electrons, 12 unbonded electrons and 6 bonded electrons in total.

Calculation of formal charge for the Xenon atom and chlorine atom

AtomsValence electronsUnbonded electron countBonded electronsFormal charge
Xenon atom 8648-6-4/2 = 0
Chlorine atom7627-6-2/2 =0

Hence total formal charge on xecl2 = 0

Xecl2 lewis structure angle

The angle made between the central atom with its neighboring atoms is called the bond angle which is also unique for every molecule. Let’s find out the bond angle for xecl2.

The bond angle for the xecl2 lewis structure is 1800 which is the best fit for a linear shape structure. However, there is no deviation from the perfect angle of 1800 which indicates that the lone pair is arranged in such a manner that lesser repulsions will take place between them.

Xecl2 lewis structure angle

The angle of 1800 is sufficient for holding lone pairs present on the atoms at the maximum positions with respect to each other and thus,  no need for any alteration in the angle for the xecl2 molecule.

Xecl2 lewis structure octet rule

The octet rule says participating atoms after bonding should attain a stable electronic configuration. Let’s see if the xecl2 lewis structure obeys the octet rule or not.

The xecl2 satisfied the octet rule as the central atom xe has a total stable electronic configuration with 10 electrons as 8 in its p orbitals and 2 in d. And also chlorine atoms also attain a filled outer-most shell with 8 electrons in their octet.

Xecl2 lewis structure lone pairs

 Lone pairs or spectator pairs are represented by dots in the lewis structure and are called lewis dots. Let’s calculate for xecl2 lewis structure.

In the xecl2 lewis structure, a total of 9 lone pairs are associated with the structure. As xenon atom carry 3 and chlorine atoms associated with 6 lone pairs.

Hence, we can calculate the lone pairs by using given formula:

  • Lone pairs = total valence electrons – total bonded atoms
  • Total valence electrons in xecl2 = 22
  • Total bonded atoms in xecl2 = 4
  • Total lone pairs = 22-4 = 18 ie. 9 pairs in total.

Xecl2 valence electrons

Valence electrons are the deciding factor that shows whether the atom will participate in the reaction or not. Let’s see how many valence electrons are associated with xecl2.

 The xecl2 lewis structure contains a total of 22 valence electrons as 8 comes from the xenon atom itself and 7 electrons from each chlorine atom in the structure ie. chlorine provides a total of 14 electrons in the bonding.

  • Xe (Z = 54) =   [Kr] 4d¹⁰5s²5p⁶ ie. 8 valence electrons.
  • Cl (Z =17 ) = [He] 2s²2p5 ie. 7 electrons for each chlorine atom.
  • Hence, valence electron count  = 8+ 7*2 = 22

Xecl2 hybridization

Hybridization for the intended molecule can be found by  using  the above equation;

The hybridization of xecl2is sp3d. The hybridization can be found by using the formula;  H= 1/2[V+M-C+A] and the H  comes out to be 5 which indicated the sp3d hybridization.

  • According to the formula equation
  • V = Total number of valence electrons on central atom ie. 8
  • M = Number of monovalent atom =2
  • C = Charge on the cation = 0
  • A =  Charge on anion = 0
  • H = ½[8 + 2]
  • H = 5, Hence hybridization is Sp3d

How and why the hybridization of xecl2 is sp3d?

The process of hybridization is the best way to explain how covalent bonds formed between the atoms in the intended structures. Let’s talk about the xecl2 hybridization process.

According to VSEPR theory, the stearic number for xecl2 is 5. Hence it again indicates that xecl2 is formed by the sp3d type of hybridization.

The stearic number of any molecule can be found using the given formula:

  • Stearic number = (total number of lone pairs present on the central atom + total number of bonded atoms to the central atom of the intended central atom)
  • S = 3 + 2 = 5

Is xecl2 a non-polar or polar molecule?

The molecular geometry or structural shape of any molecule will decide the polarity characteristics of the intended molecule. Let’s trace what kind of nature xecl2 does have.

Xecl2 is non-polar. This is because the structure is symmetrical. Therefore, even though there is an electronegativity difference between the two atoms but due to their electronic arrangement, the whole system is uniform.

Hence, Xecl2 is soluble in non-polar solvents only.

Why and how xecl2 is non-polar?

 Equal or unequal distribution of electrons among the atoms is responsible for the polar or non-polar nature of any molecule. Let’s see what kind of arrangement can be seen below.

The non-polar characteristic of xecl2 is attributed to the symmetrical distribution of the electrons among xenon and chlorine atoms. Due to this, the structure becomes symmetrical and eventually, dipole moments cut out each other. Hence xecl2 molecules become non-polar.

Give the reaction for laboratory preparation of xecl2.

Xecl2 is a stable product and can be prepared inside the lab in the presence of the conditions given below.

The preparation of xecl2 requires a temperature of 20k and microwave rays. The laboratory preparation of xecl2 is given Xe  +  2Cl2 =  2XeCl2.


Xecl2 molecule possesses a stable lewis structure with zero formal charges and has sp3d hybridization and is also reported as non-polar in nature.

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