XeH4 (xenon tetrafluoride) has one xenon atom and four hydrogen atoms. In the lewis structure of XeH4, there are four single bonds around the xenon atom, with four hydrogen atoms attached to it, and on the xenon atom, there are two lone pairs.
Here’s how you can draw the XeH4 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, xenon has eight valence electrons and hydrogen has one valence electron.
Since XeH4 has one xenon atom and four hydrogen atoms, so…
Valence electrons of one xenon atom = 8 × 1 = 8
Valence electrons of four hydrogen atoms = 1 × 4 = 4
And the total valence electrons = 8 + 4 = 12
- Second, find the total electron pairs
We have a total of 12 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 = 12 ÷ 2 = 6
- Third, determine the central atom
Here hydrogen can not be the central atom. Because the central atom is bonded with at least two other atoms, and hydrogen has only one electron in its last shell, so it can not make more than one bond.
Hence, here we have to assume that the central atom is xenon.
Therefore, place xenon in the center and hydrogens on either side.
- And finally, draw the rough sketch
#2 Mark Lone Pairs
Here, we have a total of 6 electron pairs. And four Xe — H bonds are already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining two electron pairs as lone pairs on the sketch.
Always start to mark the lone pairs from outside atoms. Here, the outside atoms are hydrogens. But no need to mark on hydrogen, because each hydrogen has already two electrons.
So for xenon, there are two lone pairs.
Mark the lone pair 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 xenon atom, formal charge = 8 – 4 – ½ (8) = 0
For each hydrogen atom, formal charge = 1 – 0 – ½ (2) = 0
Here, both xenon and hydrogen atoms do not have charges, so no need to mark the charges.
And in the above structure, you can see that the central atom (xenon) forms an octet. Hence, the octet rule is satisfied.
Therefore, this structure is the stable lewis structure of XeH4.
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