CCl2 Lewis structure

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CCl2 Lewis Structure
CCl2 Lewis structure

CCl2 (dichlorocarbene) has one carbon atom and two chlorine atoms.

In CCl2 Lewis structure, there are two single bonds around the carbon atom, with two chlorine atoms attached to it. Each chlorine atom has three lone pairs, and the carbon atom has one lone pair.


To properly draw the CCl2 Lewis structure, follow these steps:

#1 Draw a rough sketch of the structure
#2 Next, indicate lone pairs on the atoms
#3 Indicate formal charges on the atoms, if necessary

Let’s break down each step in more detail.

#1 Draw a rough sketch of the structure

  • First, determine the total number of valence electrons
Periodic table

In the periodic table, carbon lies in group 14, and chlorine lies in group 17.

Hence, carbon has four valence electrons and chlorine has seven valence electrons.

Since CCl2 has one carbon atom and two chlorine atoms, so…

Valence electrons of one carbon atom = 4 × 1 = 4
Valence electrons of two chlorine atoms = 7 × 2 = 14

And the total valence electrons = 4 + 14 = 18

  • Second, find the total electron pairs

We have a total of 18 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 = 18 ÷ 2 = 9

  • 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.

Therefore, place carbon in the center and chlorines on either side.

  • And finally, draw the rough sketch
CCl2 Lewis Structure (Step 1)
Rough sketch of CCl2 Lewis structure

#2 Next, indicate lone pairs on the atoms

Here, we have a total of 9 electron pairs. And two C — Cl bonds are already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining seven 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.

So for each chlorine, there are three lone pairs, and for carbon, there is one lone pair.

Mark the lone pairs on the sketch as follows:

CCl2 Lewis Structure (Step 2)
Lone pairs marked, and got the stable Lewis structure of CCl2

#3 Indicate formal charges on the atoms, if necessary

Use the following formula to calculate the formal charges on atoms:

Formal charge = valence electrons – nonbonding electrons – ½ bonding electrons

For carbon atom, formal charge = 4 – 2 – ½ (4) = 0

For each chlorine atom, formal charge = 7 – 6 – ½ (2) = 0

Here, both carbon and chlorine atoms do not have charges, so no need to mark the charges.

In the above structure, you can see that the central atom (carbon) doesn’t form an octet. But in CCl2, carbon has an exception that it does not require eight electrons to form an octet. So no need to worry about the octet rule here.

Therefore, this structure is the stable Lewis structure of CCl2.

Next: SF5Cl Lewis structure

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