Is SCl2 Ionic or Covalent? (And Why?)

Is SCl2 Ionic or Covalent

SCl2 is a covalent (polar covalent) compound because when one nonmetal combines with another nonmetal, it usually forms a covalent compound. Here, S is a nonmetal and Cl is also a nonmetal. So when they combine, it forms a covalent compound.

Well, now you have got to know that SCl2 is a covalent compound, but let me explain the in-depth reason why SCl2 is a covalent compound.

Why is SCl2 a Covalent compound?

As mentioned above, you can simply remember that when the nonmetal combines with another nonmetal, the bond between them is a covalent bond.

Here in SCl2, the S atom is a nonmetal and the Cl atom is also a nonmetal.

Hence the bond between them is a covalent bond.

Is SCl2 polar covalent or nonpolar covalent?

In order to know whether SCl2 is a polar covalent molecule or nonpolar covalent molecule, we have to check the electronegativity difference of the combining atoms.

If the electronegativity difference (ΔEN) is less than 0.4, then the bond is nonpolar covalent bond. 

If the electronegativity difference (ΔEN) is between 0.4 to 1.7, then the bond is polar covalent bond.[1][2][3][4]

Now the electronegativity of Sulfur and Chlorine are mentioned below. (You can see the electronegativity of all the elements from this electronegativity chart).

  • Electronegativity of Sulfur (S) = 2.58
  • Electronegativity of Chlorine (Cl) = 3.16

So for SCl2, the electronegativity difference (ΔEN) = 3.16 – 2.58 = 0.58

This value lies between 0.4 to 1.7, which indicates that the bond between Sulfur (S) and Chlorine (Cl) is polar covalent bond.

But the SCl2 molecule has 2 lone pairs which results in an asymmetric shape of the entire SCl2 molecule.

Because of this asymmetric shape there are positive and negative poles of charges on the overall molecule of SCl2.


Hence, SCl2 is a polar covalent molecule.

I hope you have understood the reason why SCl2 is a polar covalent compound.

Check out other compounds to see whether they are ionic or covalent;
Is K2S Ionic or Covalent?
Is SF4 Ionic or Covalent?
Is Br2 Ionic or Covalent?
Is K3PO4 Ionic or Covalent?
Is CsCl Ionic or Covalent? 


Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. With a desire to make learning accessible for everyone, he founded Knords Learning, an online learning platform that provides students with easily understandable explanations.

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