XeF4 Lewis Structure: Drawings, Hybridization, Shape, Charges, Pair, and Detailed Facts


XeF4 lewis structure comprises noble gas xenon and the halogen atom named fluorine. Though noble gases remain in their elemental state, Xe is an anomaly. XeF4 lewis structure and various properties associated with it are discussed in this article.

In the XeF4 lewis structure, xenon is a noble gas that has 8 valence electrons. Similarly, fluorine belongs to group 17 of the periodic table and has 7 valence electrons. To achieve octet stability 4 fluorine atoms will share their 1 electron each with a Xenon atom thereby providing the desired XeF4 lewis structure.

Elaborating on XeF4 lewis structure then it is one of those handful compounds where noble gases participate in chemical bond formation. Usually. History and many academic research papers confirm that the first compound of xenon was not XeF4 lewis structure but Xe+ PtF6- as reported by scientist Bartlett. But now it has been confirmed that xenon and fluorine both can form stable XeF4 lewis structure under room temperature conditions.

Elaborating on XeF4 lewis structure properties and characteristics then it is a colorless solid. At -78 degrees celsius XeF4, lewis structure vapor pressure is negligible and at room temperature, it is approximately 3 mm. XeF4 lewis structure exhibits the property of sublimation at room temperature. Due to this easy sublimation character XeF4, the lewis structure is sealed under vacuum in glass tubes.

As such XeF4 lewis structure does not have major applications. XeF4 lewis structure are used as ligands and coordinate with metal ions forming various fluorescent complexes. Another useful property of the XeF4 lewis structure is in space exploration where xenon is the main propellant. Another common use is in the xenon discharge tubes and flashbulbs used in cameras

XeF4 lewis structure formation is the electron symbolism of the compound and confirms its stability and reliability. Certain steps can be used to draw a perfect XeF4 Lewis structure.

XeF4 lewis structure

How to draw the XeF4 lewis structure?

XeF4 lewis structure involves one atom of xenon and four fluorine atoms. Xenon (Atomic number = 54 and electronic configuration = 2,8,18,18,8) belongs to group 18 of the periodic table and has 8 valence electrons. Similarly, fluorine (atomic number = 9 and electronic configuration = 2,7) belongs to group 7 of the periodic table and has 7 valence electrons. So the total number of valence electrons are 8 + 7×4 = 36.

After finding the number of valence electrons participating in the XeF4 lewis structure, it is important to look out for the central atom. Between Xenon and fluorine, xenon is the least electronegative element and fluorine is the one with the highest electronegativity. So xenon will be the central atom surrounded by 4 fluorine atoms. This will make sure that the electron cloud is bent towards fluorine atoms thereby making sharing of electrons easier.

As both xenon and fluorine in the XeF4 lewis structure are non-metals so there will be sharing of electrons. To complete its octet stability criteria each fluorine atom will share its 1 electron with the central xenon atom. Xenon being a hypervalent species on the other hand can accommodate more than 8 electrons in its valence shell in its excited state and can form an expanded octet.

To confirm the structural composition and reliability of the XeF4 lewis structure formal charge of both xenon and each fluorine atom is calculated individually which comes out to be 0. So this confirms the uniform electric charge distribution and the existence of the XeF4 lewis structure.

There are many properties and characteristics associated with a XeF4 lewis structure that cannot be ignored and sidelined. Some of the important properties are discussed below in detail. 

XeF4 lewis structure lone pairs

A lone pair of nonbonding electrons or unshared pair of electrons are those which do not participate in chemical bond formation. They are shown as pointed electron dots around the atom. But lone pairs of electrons are significant in deciding many other properties like the shape of the molecule. The presence of lone pair especially on the central atom is the reason for repulsion which in turn can modify the shape of the molecule.

In the context of the XeF4 lewis structure, the central atom xenon has 4 electrons left after sharing one electron with 4 fluorine atoms. This means that there are 2 lone pairs of electrons on the xenon atom.

XeF4 lewis structure octet rule

The octet rule is a very important rule in chemistry which says that all main-group elements of a periodic table should bond in such a way that there are 8 electrons in its valence shell. It is one of the most important stability criteria required for chemical bond formation.

In the XeF4 lewis structure, there is the presence of fluorine atoms which belong to the halogen family and have 7 valence electrons. They can easily complete their octet by sharing their one electron with the central xenon atom.

Xenon on the other hand belongs to the noble gas family and already has 8 valence electrons. According to the rule, it should be inert but it reacts under certain conditions and is an anomaly to the octet rule. It is a hypervalent species and can form an expanded octet. In the XeF4 lewis structure, there are more than 8 valence electrons which include 2 lone pairs and the bonding electrons. 

XeF4 lewis structure formal charges

The formal charge is an important indicator that confirms the existence and identifies the credibility of lewis structure.  It can be defined as the charge which resides on the atoms in the molecule if the bonding is done equally. In simple and mathematical words if the formal charge of each atom in the molecule is 0 then the molecule is identified according to the criteria of the lewis structure. Its formula is 

FC = V – N – B/2

Where V = no. of valence electrons

               N = no. of non – bonding electrons

               B = no. of bonding electrons 

The formal charge of the XeF4 lewis structure

FC of Xe in XeF4 lewis structure = 8 – 4 -8/2 = 0

FC of F in XeF4 lewis structure = 7 – 6 – 2/2 = 0

XeF4 lewis structure hybridization

Hybridization is a process where orbitals of the atoms involved in molecule formation intermix and form new hybrid orbitals with distinguished properties. Quantum mechanics prove that the hybridized orbitals are the deciding factor in the geometry of the molecule.

In the XeF4 lewis structure, two orbitals namely fluorine and xenon are involved.  According to the electronic configuration of xenon, there are 6 electrons present in the 5p subshell and the d and f orbitals are empty. So during the XeF4 lewis structure formation when the central xenon is excited the 2 electrons jump from 5p to vacant 5d orbitals. So now in the XeF4 lewis structure, there are 2 unpaired electrons in 5p and 5d orbitals. 

Hence XeF4 lewis structure has sp3d2 hybridization. Also, there is the presence of a single covalent bond between Xe and F which is also called the sigma bond.

XeF4 lewis structure shape

XeF4 lewis structure shape is a 3-D representation of how the atoms are arranged and what kind of geometry is suitable for them to maintain stability. The molecular geometry and shape are very important in analyzing reactivity, polarity, color, and the other associated properties.

Coming back to the XeF4 lewis structure then there are 4 lone pairs or nonbonding electrons present on the central xenon atom. The lone pair of electrons generates electronic repulsion which needs to be minimized for stability according to the VSEPR theory. The stable XeF4 lewis structure can only be obtained if the lone pair on xenon are in perpendicular alignment in an octahedral geometry. This will lead to opposite faces with 180 degrees of bond angle. Hence XeF4 lewis structure exhibits a square planar shape and octahedral geometry.

XeF4 lewis structure resonance

Resonance is a phenomenon where a single structure is not able to explain all the properties of a compound. There are various canonical or resonance structures. The resonance structures are formed by the delocalization of electrons and the movements of bonds.

Talking about the XeF4 lewis structure then it does not show the resonance phenomenon because it is an asymmetrical structure and does not have double bonds for the movement. So XeF4 all properties are explained by a single structure that has a square planar shape.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is XeF4 lewis structure polar or nonpolar?

If we look according to the Pauli scale of electronegativity then the Xe-F bond is polar due to the huge electronegativity difference. The electronegativity difference is 1.4. But the XeF4 lewis structure is square planar which is symmetrical. Hence there is no net dipole moment making the XeF4 lewis structure a nonpolar compound.

 Why xenon can form compounds like XeF4 lewis structure despite being a noble gas?

Xenon can form compounds like the XeF4 lewis structure because its inner electrons screen the outer electrons from the nucleus. So they become an easy target for the electronegative elements.

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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