Lewis Structure of Cl2 (With 6 Simple Steps to Draw!)

Lewis Structure of Cl2

Ready to learn how to draw the lewis structure of Cl2?


Here, I have explained 6 simple steps to draw the lewis dot structure of Cl2 (along with images).

So, if you are ready to go with these 6 simple steps, then let’s dive right into it!

Lewis structure of Cl2 (Chlorine) contains one single bond between both the Chlorine (Cl) atoms. And both the Chlorine atoms have three lone pairs on it.

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 Cl2).

6 Steps to Draw the Lewis Structure of Cl2

Step #1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons

Here, the given molecule is Cl2 (Chlorine). In order to draw the lewis structure of Cl2, first of all you have to find the total number of valence electrons present in the Cl2 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 Cl2

  • For Chlorine:

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

Hence, the valence electron present in chlorine is 7 (see below image).

Hence, total number of Valence electrons in Cl2 molecule = 7(2) = 14

Step #2: Select the center atom

While selecting the atom, you have to put the least electronegative atom at the center. 

But here in the Cl2 molecule, both the atoms are same. So you can consider any of the atoms as a center atom.

step 1

So, let’s assume that the chlorine which is on the right side is the central atom.

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

Now in the above sketch of Cl2 molecule, put the two electrons (i.e electron pair) between both the chlorine atoms to represent a chemical bond between them.

step 2

These pair of electrons present between the Chlorine (Cl) atoms form a chemical bond, which bonds both the chlorine atoms with each other in a Cl2 molecule.

Step #4: Complete the octet (or duplet) on outside atom. 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 Cl2, we have just assumed the right side chlorine atom as a central atom and so the left side chlorine atom is an outer atom.

So now, we have to complete the octet on this left side chlorine atom.

step 3

Now, you can see in the above image that the outer chlorine atom forms an octet.

Also, only 8 valence electrons of Cl2 molecule are used in the above structure.

But there are total 14 valence electrons in Cl2 molecule (as calculated in step #1).

So the number of electrons left to be kept on the central atom = 14 – 8 = 6.

So let’s keep these six electrons (i.e 3 electron pairs) on the central atom (i.e right side chlorine atom).

step 4

Now, let’s move to the next step.

Step #5: Check whether the central atom has octet or not

In this step, we have to check whether the central atom (i.e right side chlorine atom) has an octet or not. 

In simple words, we have to check whether the central Chlorine (Cl) atom is having 8 electrons or not.

step 5

As you can see from the above image, the central atom (i.e right side chlorine atom) has 8 electrons. So it fulfills the octet rule and this chlorine atom is also stable.

Step #6: 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 the chlorine atoms (Cl).

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

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

step 6
  • For Chlorine:
    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 charge on both the chlorine atoms are “zero”.

Hence, there will not be any change in the above structure and the above lewis structure of Cl2 is the final stable structure only.

Each electron pair (:) in the lewis dot structure of Cl2 represents the single bond ( | ). So the above lewis dot structure of Cl2 can also be represented as shown below.

Cl2 Lewis Structure

Related lewis structures for your practice:
Lewis structure of HF
Lewis structure of SCl2
Lewis structure of PF5
Lewis structure of H2SO4
Lewis structure of ethanol (C2H5OH)

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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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