CH2 Lewis Structure

CH2 Lewis Structure

CH2 (methylene) has one carbon atom and two hydrogen atoms. In the lewis structure of CH2, there are two single bonds around the carbon atom, with two hydrogen atoms attached to it, and on the carbon atom, there is one lone pair.


Here’s how you can draw the CH2 lewis structure step by step.

Step #1: draw sketch
Step #2: mark lone pairs
Step #3: mark charges (if there are)

Let’s break down each step in detail.

#1 Draw Sketch

  • First, determine the total number of valence electrons

In the periodic table, carbon lies in group 14, and hydrogen lies in group 1.

Hence, carbon has four valence electrons and hydrogen has one valence electron.

Since CH2 has one carbon atom and two hydrogen atoms, so…

Valence electrons of one carbon atom = 4 × 1 = 4
Valence electrons of two hydrogen atoms = 1 × 2 = 2

And the total valence electrons = 4 + 2 = 6

  • Second, find the total electron pairs

We have a total of 6 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 = 6 ÷ 2 = 3

  • Third, determine the central atom

Here hydrogen can not be the central atom. Because the central atom is bonded with at least two other atoms, and hydrogen has only one electron in its last shell, so it can not make more than one bond.

Hence, here we have to assume that the central atom is carbon.

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

  • And finally, draw the rough sketch
CH2 Lewis Structure (Step 1)

#2 Mark Lone Pairs

Here, we have a total of 3 electron pairs. And two C — H bonds are already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining one electron pair as a lone pair 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 hydrogen is a period 1 element, so it can not keep more than 2 electrons in its last shell.

Always start to mark the lone pairs from outside atoms. Here, the outside atoms are hydrogens. But no need to mark on hydrogen, because each hydrogen has already two electrons.

So for carbon, there is one lone pair.

Mark the lone pair on the sketch as follows:

CH2 Lewis Structure (Step 2)

#3 Mark Charges

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 hydrogen atom, formal charge = 1 – 0 – ½ (2) = 0

Here, both carbon and hydrogen 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 CH2, 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 CH2.

Next: HO2 Lewis Structure

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