Lewis Structure of BrF3 (With 5 Simple Steps to Draw!)

Lewis Structure of BrF3

Ready to learn how to draw the lewis structure of BrF3?


Here, I have explained 5 simple steps to draw the lewis dot structure of BrF3 (along with images).

So, if you are ready to go with these 5 simple steps, then let’s dive right into it!

Lewis structure of BrF3 contains three single bonds between the Bromine (Br) atom and each Fluorine (F) atom. The Bromine atom (Br) is at the center and it is surrounded by 3 Fluorine atoms (F). The Bromine atom has 2 lone pairs and all the three Fluorine atoms have 3 lone pairs.

Let’s draw and understand this lewis dot structure step by step.

(Note: Take a pen and paper with you and try to draw this lewis structure along with me. I am sure you will definitely learn how to draw lewis structure of BrF3).

5 Steps to Draw the Lewis Structure of BrF3

Step #1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons

Here, the given molecule is BrF3 (bromine trifluoride). In order to draw the lewis structure of BrF3, first of all you have to find the total number of valence electrons present in the BrF3 molecule.
(Valence electrons are the number of electrons present in the outermost shell of an atom).

So, let’s calculate this first.

Calculation of valence electrons in BrF3

  • For Bromine:

Bromine is a group 17 element on the periodic table. [1]

Hence, the valence electrons present in bromine is 7 (see below image).

  • For Fluorine: 

Fluorine is a group 17 element on the periodic table. [2]

Hence, the valence electrons present in fluorine is 7 (see below image).

Hence in a BrF3 molecule, 

Valence electrons given by Bromine (Br) atom = 7
Valence electrons given by each Fluorine (F) atom = 7
So, total number of Valence electrons in BrF3 molecule = 7 + 7(3) = 28

Step #2: Select the center atom

While selecting the atom, always put the least electronegative atom at the center. 

(Remember: Fluorine is the most electronegative element on the periodic table and the electronegativity decreases as we move right to left in the periodic table as well as top to bottom in the periodic table). [3]

Here in the BrF3 molecule, if we compare the bromine atom (Br) and fluorine atom (F), then the bromine is less electronegative than fluorine.

So, bromine should be placed in the center and the remaining 3 fluorine atoms will surround it.

step 1

Step #3: Put two electrons between the atoms to represent a chemical bond

Now in the above sketch of BrF3 molecule, put the two electrons (i.e electron pair) between each bromine atom and fluorine atom to represent a chemical bond between them.

step 2

These pairs of electrons present between the Bromine (Br) and Fluorine (F) atoms form a chemical bond, which bonds the bromine and fluorine atoms with each other in a BrF3 molecule.

Step #4: Complete the octet (or duplet) on outside atoms. If the valence electrons are left, then put the valence electrons pair on the central atom

Don’t worry, I’ll explain!

In the Lewis structure of BrF3, the outer atoms are fluorine atoms.

So now, you have to complete the octet on these fluorine atoms (because fluorine requires 8 electrons to have a complete outer shell).

step 3

Now, you can see in the above image that all the fluorine atoms form an octet.

Also, only 24 valence electrons of BrF3 molecule are used in the above structure.

But there are total 28 valence electrons in BrF3 molecule (as calculated in step #1).

So the number of electrons left to be kept on the central atom = 28 – 24 = 4.

So let’s keep these four electrons (i.e 2 electron pairs) on the central atom.

step 4

Now, let’s move to the next step.

Step #5: Final step – Check the stability of lewis structure by calculating the formal charge on each atom

Now, you have come to the final step and here you have to check the formal charge on bromine atom (Br) as well as each fluorine atom (F).

For that, you need to remember the formula of formal charge;

Formal charge = Valence electrons – Nonbonding electrons – (Bonding electrons)/2

step 5
  • For Bromine:
    Valence electron = 7 (as it is in group 17)
    Nonbonding electrons = 4
    Bonding electrons = 6
  • For Fluorine:
    Valence electron = 7 (as it is in group 17)
    Nonbonding electrons = 6
    Bonding electrons = 2
Formal charge=Valence electronsNonbonding electrons(Bonding electrons)/2

So you can see above that the formal charges on bromine as well as fluorine are “zero”.

Hence, there will not be any change in the above structure and the above lewis structure of BrF3 is the final stable structure only.

Each electron pair (:) in the lewis dot structure of BrF3 represents the single bond ( | ). So the above lewis dot structure of BrF3 can also be represented as shown below.

BrF3 Lewis Structure

Related lewis structures for your practice:
Lewis structure of SF2
Lewis structure of IF5
Lewis structure of HNO3
Lewis structure of SCN-
Lewis structure of ClF3

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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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