Cl_{2} (chlorine) has **two chlorine** atoms. In the lewis structure of Cl_{2}, there is a single bond between the two chlorine atoms, and on each chlorine atom, there are three lone pairs.

## Steps

Here’s how you can draw the Cl_{2} 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, chlorine lies in group 17. Hence, chlorine has **seven** valence electrons.

Since Cl_{2} has two chlorine atoms, so…

Valence electrons of two chlorine atoms = 7 × 2 = 14

So the **total valence electrons** = 14

- Second, find the total electron pairs

We have a total of 14 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** = 14 ÷ 2 = 7

- Third, determine the central atom

Here, there are only two atoms and both atoms are chlorine, so we can assume any one as the central atom.

Let’s assume that the **central atom is right chlorine**.

- And finally, draw the rough sketch

### #2 Mark Lone Pairs

Here, we have a total of 7 electron pairs. And one Cl — Cl bond is already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining six electron pairs as lone pairs on the sketch.

Also remember that 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 atom is left chlorine.

So for each chlorine, there are **three** lone pairs.

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

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

And in the above structure, you can see that the central atom (right chlorine) forms an octet. Hence, the octet rule is satisfied.

Therefore, this structure is the stable lewis structure of Cl_{2}.

**Next:** HF Lewis Structure