OCS Lewis Structure

OCS Lewis Structure

OCS (carbonyl sulfide) has one oxygen atom, one carbon atom, and one sulfur atom. In the lewis structure of OCS, there are two double bonds around the carbon atom, with oxygen and sulfur atoms attached to it, and on both oxygen and sulfur atoms, there are two lone pairs.


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

Step #1: draw sketch
Step #2: mark lone pairs
Step #3: mark charges
Step #4: minimize charges
Step #5: minimize charges again (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, both oxygen and sulfur lie in group 16, and carbon lies in group 14.

Hence, both oxygen and sulfur have six valence electrons, and carbon has four valence electrons.

Since OCS has one oxygen atom, one carbon atom, and one sulfur atom, so…

Valence electrons of one oxygen atom = 6 × 1 = 6
Valence electrons of one carbon atom = 6 × 1 = 6
Valence electrons of one sulfur atom = 4 × 1 = 4

And the total valence electrons = 6 + 6 + 4 = 16

  • Second, find the total electron pairs

We have a total of 16 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 = 16 ÷ 2 = 8

  • Third, determine the central atom

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

Since carbon is less electronegative than oxygen and sulfur, assume that the central atom is carbon.

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

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

#2 Mark Lone Pairs

Here, we have a total of 8 electron pairs. And two bonds are already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining six electron pairs as lone pairs on the sketch.

Also remember that both (oxygen and carbon) are the period 2 elements, so they can not keep more than 8 electrons in their last shell. And sulfur 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 oxygen and sulfur.

So for oxygen and sulfur, there are three lone pairs, and for carbon, there is zero lone pair because all six electron pairs are over.

Mark the lone pairs on the sketch as follows:

OCS 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 oxygen and sulfur atom, formal charge = 6 – 6 – ½ (2) = -1

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

Here, all three atoms have charges, so mark them on the sketch as follows:

OCS Lewis Structure (Step 3)

The above structure is not a stable lewis structure because all three atoms have charges. Therefore, reduce the charges (as below) by converting lone pairs to bonds.

#4 Minimize Charges

Convert a lone pair of the oxygen atom to make a new C — O bond with the carbon atom as follows:

OCS Lewis Structure (Step 4)

#5 Minimize Charges Again

Since there are charges on carbon and sulfur atoms, again convert a lone pair of the sulfur atom to make a new C — S bond with the carbon atom as follows:

OCS Lewis Structure (Step 5)

In the above structure, you can see that the central atom (carbon) forms an octet. Hence, the octet rule is satisfied.

Also, the above structure is more stable than the previous structures. Therefore, this structure is the stable lewis structure of OCS.

Next: Br3 Lewis Structure

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