So you have seen the above image by now, right?
Let me explain the above image in short.
C2Cl2 lewis structure has a triple bond between the two Carbon atoms (C) and a single bond between the Carbon atom (C) and Chlorine atoms (Cl). There are 3 lone pairs on both the Chlorine atoms (Cl).
If you haven’t understood anything from the above image of C2Cl2 lewis structure, then just stick with me and you will get the detailed step by step explanation on drawing a lewis structure of C2Cl2.
So let’s move to the steps of drawing the lewis structure of C2Cl2.
Steps of drawing C2Cl2 lewis structure
Step 1: Find the total valence electrons in C2Cl2 molecule
In order to find the total valence electrons in a C2Cl2 molecule, first of all you should know the valence electrons present in carbon atom as well as chlorine atom.
(Valence electrons are the electrons that are present in the outermost orbit of any atom.)
Here, I’ll tell you how you can easily find the valence electrons of carbon as well as chlorine using a periodic table.
Total valence electrons in C2Cl2 molecule
→ Valence electrons given by carbon atom:
Carbon is group 14 element on the periodic table.  Hence the valence electrons present in carbon is 4.
You can see the 4 valence electrons present in the carbon atom as shown in the above image.
→ Valence electrons given by chlorine atom:
Chlorine is group 17 element on the periodic table.  Hence the valence electrons present in chlorine is 7.
You can see the 7 valence electrons present in the chlorine atom as shown in the above image.
Total valence electrons in C2Cl2 molecule = valence electrons given by 2 carbon atom + valence electrons given by 2 chlorine atoms = 4(2) + 7(2) = 22.
Step 2: Select the central atom
For selecting the center atom, you have to remember that the atom which is less electronegative remains at the center.
Now here the given molecule is C2Cl2 and it contains carbon atoms (C) and chlorine atoms (Cl).
You can see the electronegativity values of carbon atom (C) and chlorine atom (Cl) in the above periodic table.
If we compare the electronegativity values of carbon (C) and chlorine (Cl) then the carbon atom is less electronegative.
So here, the carbon atoms (C) are the center atom and the chlorine atoms (Cl) are the outside atoms.
Step 3: Connect each atoms by putting an electron pair between them
Now in the C2Cl2 molecule, you have to put the electron pairs between the carbon-carbon atoms and between the carbon-chlorine atoms.
This indicates that these atoms are chemically bonded with each other in a C2Cl2 molecule.
Step 4: Make the outer atoms stable. Place the remaining valence electrons pair on the central atom.
Now in this step, you have to check the stability of the outer atoms.
Here in the sketch of C2Cl2 molecule, you can see that the outer atoms are chlorine atoms.
These outer chlorine atoms are forming an octet and hence they are stable.
Also, in step 1 we have calculated the total number of valence electrons present in the C2Cl2 molecule.
The C2Cl2 molecule has a total 22 valence electrons and out of these, only 18 valence electrons are used in the above sketch.
So the number of electrons which are left = 22 – 18 = 4.
You have to put these 4 electrons on both the central carbon atoms in the above sketch of C2Cl2 molecule.
Now let’s proceed to the next step.
Step 5: Check the octet on the central atom. If it does not have octet, then convert the lone pair into a double bond or triple bond.
In this step, you have to check whether the central carbon atoms (C) are stable or not.
In order to check the stability of the central carbon (C) atoms, we have to check whether they are forming an octet or not.
Unfortunately, both the carbon atoms are not forming an octet here. Both the carbon atoms have only 6 electrons and they are unstable.
Now to make the carbon atom stable, you have to convert the lone pair into a double bond so that the carbon atom can have 8 electrons (i.e octet).
But after converting one electron pair, one carbon atom is forming an octet but the other carbon atom is still not forming an octet as it has only 6 electrons.
So again we have to convert one more electron pair to form a triple bond.
After converting this electron pair into a triple bond, the central carbon atom will get 2 more electrons and thus its total electrons will become 8.
You can see from the above picture that both the carbon atoms are forming an octet.
And hence these carbon atoms are stable.
Now let’s proceed to the final step to check whether the lewis structure of C2Cl2 is stable or not.
Step 6: Check the stability of lewis structure
Now you have come to the final step in which you have to check the stability of lewis structure of C2Cl2.
The stability of lewis structure can be checked by using a concept of formal charge.
In short, now you have to find the formal charge on carbon (C) atoms as well as chlorine (Cl) atoms present in the C2Cl2 molecule.
For calculating the formal charge, you have to use the following formula;
Formal charge = Valence electrons – (Bonding electrons)/2 – Nonbonding electrons
For Carbon (C) atom:
Valence electrons = 4 (because carbon is in group 14)
Bonding electrons = 8
Nonbonding electrons = 0
For Chlorine (Cl) atom:
Valence electrons = 7 (because chlorine is in group 17)
Bonding electrons = 2
Nonbonding electrons = 6
From the above calculations of formal charge, you can see that the carbon (C) atoms as well as chlorine (Cl) atoms have a “zero” formal charge.
This indicates that the above lewis structure of C2Cl2 is stable and there is no further change in the above structure of C2Cl2.
In the above lewis dot structure of C2Cl2, you can also represent each bonding electron pair (:) as a single bond (|). By doing so, you will get the following lewis structure of C2Cl2.
I hope you have completely understood all the above steps.
For more practice and better understanding, you can try other lewis structures listed below.
Try (or at least See) these lewis structures for better understanding:
|CH2 Lewis Structure
|HO2- Lewis Structure
|C2HCl Lewis Structure
|S2O Lewis Structure
|BrCl3 Lewis Structure
|NO2Cl Lewis Structure
Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. He is a founder of Pediabay and is passionate about helping students through his easily digestible explanations.
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