C2Cl2 (dichloroacetylene) has two carbon atoms and two chlorine atoms. In the lewis structure of C2Cl2, there is a triple bond between the two carbon atoms, and each carbon is attached with one chlorine atom, and on each chlorine atom, there are three lone pairs.
Here’s how you can draw the C2Cl2 lewis structure step by step.
Step #1: draw sketch
Step #2: mark lone pairs
Step #3: mark charges
Step #4: minimize charges
Step #5: minimize charges again (if there are)
Let’s break down each step in detail.
#1 Draw Sketch
- First, determine the total number of valence electrons
Hence, carbon has four valence electrons and chlorine has seven valence electrons.
Since C2Cl2 has two carbon atoms and two chlorine atoms, so…
Valence electrons of two carbon atoms = 4 × 2 = 8
Valence electrons of two chlorine atoms = 7 × 2 = 14
And the total valence electrons = 8 + 14 = 22
- Second, find the total electron pairs
We have a total of 22 valence electrons. And when we divide this value by two, we get the value of total electron pairs.
Total electron pairs = total valence electrons ÷ 2
So the total electron pairs = 22 ÷ 2 = 11
- Third, determine the central atom
We have to place the least electronegative atom at the center.
Since carbon is less electronegative than chlorine, assume that the central atom is carbon.
Here, there are two carbon atoms, so we can assume any one as the central atom.
Let’s assume that the central atom is right carbon.
Therefore, place carbons in the center and chlorines on either side.
- And finally, draw the rough sketch
#2 Mark Lone Pairs
Here, we have a total of 11 electron pairs. And three bonds are already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining eight electron pairs as lone pairs on the sketch.
Also remember that carbon is a period 2 element, so it can not keep more than 8 electrons in its last shell. And chlorine is a period 3 element, so it can keep more than 8 electrons in its last shell.
Always start to mark the lone pairs from outside atoms. Here, the outside atoms are chlorines and left carbon.
So for each chlorine, there are three lone pairs, for left carbon, there are two lone pairs, and for right carbon, there is zero lone pair because all eight electron pairs are over.
Mark the lone pairs on the sketch as follows:
#3 Mark Charges
Use the following formula to calculate the formal charges on atoms:
Formal charge = valence electrons – nonbonding electrons – ½ bonding electrons
For left carbon atom, formal charge = 4 – 4 – ½ (4) = -2
For right carbon atom, formal charge = 4 – 0 – ½ (4) = +2
For each chlorine atom, formal charge = 7 – 6 – ½ (2) = 0
Here, both carbon atoms have charges, so mark them on the sketch as follows:
The above structure is not a stable lewis structure because both carbon atoms have charges. Therefore, reduce the charges (as below) by converting lone pairs to bonds.
#4 Minimize Charges
Convert a lone pair of the left carbon atom to make a new C — C bond with the right carbon atom as follows:
#5 Minimize Charges Again
Since there are charges on both carbon atoms, again convert a lone pair of the left carbon atom to make a new C — C bond with the right carbon atom as follows:
In the above structure, you can see that the central atom (right carbon) forms an octet. Hence, the octet rule is satisfied.
Also, the above structure is more stable than the previous structures. Therefore, this structure is the stable lewis structure of C2Cl2.
Next: NO43- Lewis Structure