So you have seen the above image by now, right?
Let me explain the above image in short.
SF6 lewis structure has a Sulfur atom (S) at the center which is surrounded by six Fluorine atoms (F). There are 6 single bonds between the Sulfur atom (S) and each Fluorine atom (F).
If you haven’t understood anything from the above image of SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride) lewis structure, then just stick with me and you will get the detailed step by step explanation on drawing a lewis structure of SF6.
So let’s move to the steps of drawing the lewis structure of SF6.
Steps of drawing SF6 lewis structure
Step 1: Find the total valence electrons in SF6 molecule
In order to find the total valence electrons in SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride) molecule, first of all you should know the valence electrons present in sulfur atom as well as fluorine 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 sulfur as well as fluorine using a periodic table.
Total valence electrons in SF6 molecule
→ Valence electrons given by sulfur atom:
You can see the 6 valence electrons present in the sulfur atom as shown in the above image.
→ Valence electrons given by fluorine atom:
You can see the 7 valence electrons present in the fluorine atom as shown in the above image.
Total valence electrons in SF6 molecule = valence electrons given by 1 sulfur atom + valence electrons given by 6 fluorine atoms = 6 + 7(6) = 48.
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 SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride) and it contains sulfur atom (S) and fluorine atoms (F).
You can see the electronegativity values of sulfur atom (S) and fluorine atom (F) in the above periodic table.
If we compare the electronegativity values of sulfur (S) and fluorine (F) then the sulfur atom is less electronegative.
So here the sulfur atom (S) is the center atom and the fluorine atoms (F) are the outside atoms.
Step 3: Connect each atoms by putting an electron pair between them
Now in the SF6 molecule, you have to put the electron pairs between the sulfur atom (S) and fluorine atoms (F).
This indicates that the sulfur (S) and fluorine (F) are chemically bonded with each other in a SF6 molecule.
Step 4: Make the outer atoms stable
Now in this step, you have to check the stability of the outer atoms.
Here in the sketch of SF6 molecule, you can see that the outer atoms are fluorine atoms.
These outer fluorine 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 SF6 molecule.
The SF6 molecule has a total 48 valence electrons and all these valence electrons are used in the above sketch of SF6.
Hence there are no remaining electron pairs to be kept on the central atom.
So now let’s proceed to the next step.
Step 5: 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 SF6.
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 sulfur (S) atom as well as fluorine (F) atoms present in the SF6 molecule.
For calculating the formal charge, you have to use the following formula;
Formal charge = Valence electrons – (Bonding electrons)/2 – Nonbonding electrons
For Sulfur (S) atom:
Valence electrons = 6 (because sulfur is in group 16)
Bonding electrons = 12
Nonbonding electrons = 0
For Fluorine (F) atom:
Valence electrons = 7 (because fluorine is in group 17)
Bonding electrons = 2
Nonbonding electrons = 6
This indicates that the above lewis structure of SF6 is stable and there is no further change in the above structure of SF6.
In the above lewis dot structure of SF6, you can also represent each bonding electron pair (:) as a single bond (|). By doing so, you will get the following lewis structure of SF6.
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:
|PH3 lewis structure
|NO lewis structure
|N2O lewis structure
|CH3OH lewis structure
|PCl3 lewis structure
|BCl3 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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