SeCl4 (selenium tetrachloride) has one selenium atom and four chlorine atoms. In the lewis structure of SeCl4, there are four single bonds around the selenium atom, with four chlorine atoms attached to it. Each chlorine atom has three lone pairs, and the selenium atom has one lone pair.
Here’s how you can draw the SeCl4 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
Hence, selenium has six valence electrons and chlorine has seven valence electrons.
Since SeCl4 has one selenium atom and four chlorine atoms, so…
Valence electrons of one selenium atom = 6 × 1 = 6
Valence electrons of four chlorine atoms = 7 × 4 = 28
And the total valence electrons = 6 + 28 = 34
- Second, find the total electron pairs
We have a total of 34 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 = 34 ÷ 2 = 17
- Third, determine the central atom
We have to place the least electronegative atom at the center.
Since selenium is less electronegative than chlorine, assume that the central atom is selenium.
Therefore, place selenium in the center and chlorines on either side.
- And finally, draw the rough sketch
#2 Mark Lone Pairs
Here, we have a total of 17 electron pairs. And four Se — Cl bonds are already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining thirteen electron pairs as lone pairs on the sketch.
Always start to mark the lone pairs from outside atoms. Here, the outside atoms are chlorines.
So for each chlorine, there are three lone pairs, and for selenium, there is one lone pair.
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 selenium atom, formal charge = 6 – 2 – ½ (8) = 0
For each chlorine atom, formal charge = 7 – 6 – ½ (2) = 0
Here, both selenium and 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 (selenium) forms an octet. Hence, the octet rule is satisfied.
Therefore, this structure is the stable lewis structure of SeCl4.
Next: TeCl4 Lewis Structure