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

Lewis Structure of HOFO

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


Here, I have explained 6 simple steps to draw the lewis dot structure of HOFO (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 HOFO contains one double bond between the Fluorine atom (F) & one Oxygen atom (O) and the rest other atoms are single bonded with each other. The fluorine atom is at the center and it is surrounded by 1 oxygen atom and one O-H group.

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 HOFO).

6 Steps to Draw the Lewis Structure of HOFO

Step #1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons

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

  • 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 HOFO molecule, 

Valence electrons given by Hydrogen (H) atom = 1
Valence electrons given by Fluorine (F) atom = 7
Valence electrons given by each Oxygen (O) atom = 6
So, total number of Valence electrons in HOFO molecule = 1 + 7 + 6(2) = 20

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). [1]

Here in the HOFO molecule, if we compare the fluorine atom (F), oxygen atom (O) and hydrogen atom (H), then hydrogen is less electronegative than fluorine and oxygen. But as per the rule, we have to keep hydrogen outside.

So, fluorine (which is less electronegative than oxygen) should be placed in the center and the remaining oxygen atom as well as OH group will surround it.

step 1

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

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

step 2

These pairs of electrons present between the Fluorine-Oxygen atoms as well as between the Oxygen & Hydrogen atoms form a chemical bond, which bonds these atoms with each other in a HOFO 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 HOFO, the outer atoms are hydrogen atom as well as oxygen atoms.

Hydrogen already has a duplet (see below image).

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

step 3

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

Also, only 16 valence electrons of HOFO molecule are used in the above structure.

But there are total 20 valence electrons in HOFO molecule (as calculated in step #1).

So the number of electrons left to be kept on the central fluorine atom = 20 – 16 = 4.

So let’s keep these four electrons (i.e 2 electron pairs) on the central fluorine 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 fluorine) has an octet or not.

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

step 5

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

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 electron = 1 (as it is in group 1)
    Nonbonding electrons = 0
    Bonding electrons = 2
  • For Fluorine:
    Valence electrons = 7 (as it is in group 17)
    Nonbonding electrons = 4
    Bonding electrons = 4
  • For Oxygen:
    Valence electron = 6 (as it is in group 16)
    Nonbonding electrons = 6
    Bonding electrons = 2
  • For Oxygen (of O-H group):
    Valence electron = 6 (as it is in group 16)
    Nonbonding electrons = 4
    Bonding electrons = 4
Formal charge=Valence electronsNonbonding electrons(Bonding electrons)/2
O (of OH group)=644/2=0

So you can see above that the formal charges on fluorine is +1 and the formal charge on the oxygen atom is -1.

This indicates that the above lewis structure of HOFO is not stable and so we have to minimize the charges to get a more stable lewis structure.

This can be done by shifting the lone pair from negatively charged oxygen atom to the positively charged fluorine atom to form a bond.

step 7

Now, in the above structure, you can see that the charges are minimized and the above lewis structure of HOFO is the final stable structure.

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

hofo lewis structure

Related lewis structures for your practice:
Lewis Structure of BrF
Lewis Structure of AlH3
Lewis Structure of MgF2
Lewis Structure of SbF3
Lewis Structure of Cl3- 

Article by;


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.

Read more about our Editorial process.

Leave a Comment