ClF5 Lewis structure

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ClF5 Lewis Structure
ClF5 Lewis structure

ClF5 (chlorine pentafluoride) has one carbon atom, two hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom.

In the ClF5 Lewis structure, there are five single bonds around the chlorine atom, with five fluorine atoms attached to it. Each fluorine atom has three lone pairs, and the chlorine atom has one lone pair.


Here’s how you can easily draw the ClF5 Lewis structure step by step:

#1 Draw a rough skeleton structure
#2 Mention lone pairs on the atoms
#3 If needed, mention formal charges on the atoms

Now, let’s take a closer look at each step mentioned above.

#1 Draw a rough skeleton structure

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

In the periodic table, both chlorine and fluorine lie in group 17.

Hence, both chlorine and fluorine have seven valence electrons.

Since ClF5 has one chlorine atom and five fluorine atoms, so…

Valence electrons of one chlorine atom = 7 × 1 = 7
Valence electrons of five fluorine atoms = 7 × 5 = 35

And the total valence electrons = 7 + 35 = 42

  • Second, find the total electron pairs

We have a total of 42 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 = 42 ÷ 2 = 21

  • Third, determine the central atom

We have to place the least electronegative atom at the center.

Since chlorine is less electronegative than fluorine, assume that the central atom is chlorine.

Therefore, place chlorine in the center and fluorines on either side.

  • And finally, draw the rough sketch
ClF5 Lewis Structure (Step 1)
Rough sketch of ClF5 Lewis structure

#2 Mention lone pairs on the atoms

Here, we have a total of 21 electron pairs. And five Cl — F bonds are already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining sixteen 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. And fluorine is a period 2 element, so it can not keep more than 8 electrons in its last shell.

Always start to mark the lone pairs from outside atoms. Here, the outside atoms are fluorines.

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

Mark the lone pairs on the sketch as follows:

ClF5 Lewis Structure (Step 2)
Lone pairs marked, and got the stable Lewis structure of ClF5

#3 If needed, mention formal charges on the atoms

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

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

For chlorine atom, formal charge = 7 – 2 – ½ (10) = 0

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

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

In the above structure, you can see that the central atom (chlorine) forms an octet. And the outside atoms (fluorines) also form an octet. Hence, the octet rule is satisfied.

Therefore, this structure is the stable Lewis structure of ClF5.

Next: C3H8 Lewis structure

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