# ClO- Lewis structure

ClO (hypochlorite) has one chlorine atom and one oxygen atom.

In the ClO Lewis structure, there is a single bond between the chlorine and oxygen atom, and on both chlorine and oxygen atoms, there are three lone pairs.

Also, there is a negative (-1) charge on the oxygen atom.

Contents

## Steps

Here’s how you can easily draw the ClO 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

In the periodic table, chlorine lies in group 17, and oxygen lies in group 16.

Hence, chlorine has seven valence electrons and oxygen has six valence electrons.

Since ClO has one chlorine atom and one oxygen atom, so…

Valence electrons of one chlorine atom = 7 × 1 = 7
Valence electrons of one oxygen atom = 6 × 1 = 6

Now the ClO has a negative (-1) charge, so we have to add one more electron.

So the total valence electrons = 7 + 6 + 1 = 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

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

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

• And finally, draw the rough sketch

### #2 Mention lone pairs on the atoms

Here, we have a total of 7 electron pairs. And one Cl — O 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. And oxygen 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 atom is oxygen.

So for each atom, there are three lone pairs.

Mark the lone pairs on the sketch as follows:

### #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 – 6 – ½ (2) = 0

For oxygen atom, formal charge = 6 – 6 – ½ (2) = -1

Here, the oxygen atom has a charge, so mark it on the sketch as follows:

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

Now there is still a negative (-1) charge on the oxygen atom.

This is okay, because the structure with a negative charge on the most electronegative atom is the best Lewis structure. And in this case, the most electronegative element is oxygen.

Therefore, this structure is the most stable Lewis structure of ClO.

And since the ClO has a negative (-1) charge, mention that charge on the Lewis structure by drawing brackets as follows:

Next: NOCl Lewis structure