S2Cl2 Lewis structure

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S2Cl2 Lewis Structure
S2Cl2 Lewis structure | Image: Learnool

S2Cl2 (disulfur dichloride) has two sulfur atoms and two chlorine atoms.

In the S2Cl2 Lewis structure, there is a single bond between the two sulfur atoms, and each sulfur is attached with one chlorine atom. Each chlorine atom has three lone pairs, and each sulfur atom has two lone pairs.


Use these steps to correctly draw the S2Cl2 Lewis structure:

#1 First draw a rough sketch
#2 Mark lone pairs on the atoms
#3 Calculate and mark formal charges on the atoms, if required

Let’s discuss each step in more detail.

#1 First draw a rough sketch

  • First, determine the total number of valence electrons
Periodic table | Image: Learnool

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

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

Since S2Cl2 has two sulfur atoms and two chlorine atoms, so…

Valence electrons of two sulfur atoms = 6 × 2 = 12
Valence electrons of two chlorine atoms = 7 × 2 = 14

And the total valence electrons = 12 + 14 = 26

  • Second, find the total electron pairs

We have a total of 26 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 = 26 ÷ 2 = 13

  • Third, determine the central atom

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

Since sulfur is less electronegative than chlorine, assume that the central atom is right sulfur (as there are two sulfur atoms present here).

Therefore, place sulfurs in the center and chlorines on either side.

  • And finally, draw the rough sketch
S2Cl2 Lewis Structure (Step 1)
Rough sketch of S2Cl2 Lewis structure | Image: Learnool

#2 Mark lone pairs on the atoms

Here, we have a total of 13 electron pairs. And three bonds are already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining ten electron pairs as lone pairs on the sketch.

Also remember that both (sulfur and chlorine) are the period 3 elements, so they can keep more than 8 electrons in their last shell.

Always start to mark the lone pairs from outside atoms. Here, the outside atoms are chlorines and left sulfur.

So for each chlorine, there are three lone pairs, and for each sulfur, there are two lone pairs.

Mark the lone pairs on the sketch as follows:

S2Cl2 Lewis Structure (Step 2)
Lone pairs marked, and got the stable Lewis structure of S2Cl2 | Image: Learnool

#3 Calculate and mark formal charges on the atoms, if required

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

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

For each sulfur atom, formal charge = 6 – 4 – ½ (4) = 0

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

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

In the above structure, you can see that the central atom (right sulfur) forms an octet. And the outside atoms (left sulfur and chlorines) also form an octet. Hence, the octet rule is satisfied.

Therefore, this structure is the stable Lewis structure of S2Cl2.

Next: IBr Lewis structure

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