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

Lewis Structure of HOF

I’m super excited to teach you the lewis structure of HOF in just 6 simple steps.

Infact, I’ve also given the step-by-step images for drawing the lewis dot structure of HOF molecule.

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

Lewis structure of HOF contains a single bond between the Hydrogen (H) & Oxygen (O) atom as well as between the Oxygen (O) and Fluorine (F) atom. The Oxygen atom (O) is at the center and it is surrounded by Hydrogen and Fluorine atom. The Oxygen has 2 lone pairs and the Fluorine has 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 HOF).

6 Steps to Draw the Lewis Structure of HOF

Step #1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons

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

  • For Hydrogen: 

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

Hence, the valence electron present in hydrogen is 1 (see below image).

  • For Oxygen:

Oxygen is a group 16 element on the periodic table. [2]

Hence, the valence electron present in oxygen is 6 (see below image).

  • For Fluorine: 

Fluorine is a group 17 element on the periodic table. [3]

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

Hence in a HOF molecule, 

Valence electron given by Hydrogen (H) atom = 1
Valence electrons given by Oxygen (O) atom = 6
Valence electrons given by Fluorine (F) atom = 7
So, total number of Valence electrons in HOF molecule = 1 + 6 + 7 = 14

Step #2: Make the rough sketch

From the chemical formula itself, you can get the idea that an oxygen atom is at the center which is surrounded by Hydrogen (H) and Fluorine (F) on the outer sides.

So let’s draw a rough sketch for the HOF molecule.

step 1

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

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

step 2

These pairs of electrons present between the Hydrogen (H), Oxygen (O) and Fluorine (F) atoms form a chemical bond, which bonds these atoms with each other in a HOF 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 HOF, the outer atoms are hydrogen atom and fluorine atom.

Hydrogen already has a duplet (see below image).

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

step 3

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

Also, only 10 valence electrons of HOF molecule are used in the above structure.

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

So the number of electrons left to be kept on the central atom = 14 – 10 = 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: Check whether the central atom has octet or not. If it does not have an octet, then move the electron pair from the outer atom to form a double bond or triple bond

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

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

step 5

As you can see from the above image, the central atom (i.e oxygen), has 8 electrons. So it fulfills the octet rule and the oxygen atom is 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 hydrogen atom (H), oxygen atom (O) as well as fluorine atom (F).

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

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

step 6
  • For Hydrogen:
    Valence electrons = 1 (as it is in group 1)
    Nonbonding electrons = 0
    Bonding electrons = 2
  • For Oxygen:
    Valence electron = 6 (as it is in group 16)
    Nonbonding electrons = 4
    Bonding electrons = 4
  • 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 hydrogen, oxygen as well as fluorine are “zero”.

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

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

hof lewis structure

Related lewis structures for your practice:
Lewis Structure of XeO2F2
Lewis Structure of XeH4
Lewis Structure of S2Cl2
Lewis Structure of N2O5
Lewis Structure of BeBr2 

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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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