XeCl4 Lewis structure

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XeCl4 Lewis Structure
XeCl4 Lewis structure

XeCl4 (xenon tetrachloride) has one xenon atom and four chlorine atoms.

In the XeCl4 Lewis structure, there are four single bonds around the xenon atom, with four chlorine atoms attached to it. Each chlorine atom has three lone pairs, and the xenon atom has two lone pairs.


Here’s how you can easily draw the XeCl4 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
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 XeCl4 has one xenon atom and four chlorine atoms, so…

Valence electrons of one xenon atom = 8 × 1 = 8
Valence electrons of four chlorine atoms = 7 × 4 = 28

And the total valence electrons = 8 + 28 = 36

  • Second, find the total electron pairs

We have a total of 36 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 = 36 ÷ 2 = 18

  • 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
XeCl4 Lewis Structure (Step 1)
Rough sketch of XeCl4 Lewis structure

#2 Mention lone pairs on the atoms

Here, we have a total of 18 electron pairs. And four Xe — Cl bonds are already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining fourteen 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 chlorine, there are three lone pairs, and for xenon, there are two lone pairs.

Mark the lone pairs on the sketch as follows:

XeCl4 Lewis Structure (Step 2)
Lone pairs marked, and got the stable Lewis structure of XeCl4

#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 xenon atom, formal charge = 8 – 4 – ½ (8) = 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 XeCl4.

Next: TeBr4 Lewis structure

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