XeCl2 Lewis Structure

XeCl2 Lewis Structure
XeCl2 lewis structure

XeCl2 (xenon dichloride) has one xenon atom and two chlorine atoms.

In the lewis structure of XeCl2, there are two single bonds around the xenon atom, with two chlorine atoms attached to it, and each atom has three lone pairs.


Here’s how you can draw the XeCl2 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
Periodic table

In the periodic table, xenon lies in group 18, and chlorine lies in group 17.

Hence, xenon has eight valence electrons and chlorine has seven valence electrons.

Since XeCl2 has one xenon atom and two chlorine atoms, so…

Valence electrons of one xenon atom = 8 × 1 = 8
Valence electrons of two chlorine atoms = 7 × 2 = 14

And the total valence electrons = 8 + 14 = 22

Learn how to find: Chlorine Valence Electrons

  • Second, find the total electron pairs

We have a total of 22 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 = 22 ÷ 2 = 11

  • Third, determine the central atom

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

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

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

  • And finally, draw the rough sketch
XeCl2 Lewis Structure (Step 1)
Rough sketch of XeCl2 lewis structure

#2 Mark Lone Pairs

Here, we have a total of 11 electron pairs. And two Xe — Cl bonds are already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining nine electron pairs as lone pairs on the sketch.

Also remember that xenon is a period 5 element, so it can keep more than 8 electrons in its last shell. And chlorine 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 chlorines.

So for each atom, there are three lone pairs.

Mark the lone pairs on the sketch as follows:

XeCl2 Lewis Structure (Step 2)
Lone pairs marked, and got the stable lewis structure of XeCl2

#3 Mark Charges

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

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

For xenon atom, formal charge = 8 – 6 – ½ (4) = 0

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

Here, both xenon 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 (xenon) forms an octet. And the outside atoms (chlorines) also form an octet. Hence, the octet rule is satisfied.

Therefore, this structure is the stable lewis structure of XeCl2.

Next: KrF4 Lewis Structure

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