Lewis Structure of PF2Cl3 (With 5 Simple Steps to Draw!)

Lewis Structure of PF2Cl3

I’m super excited to teach you the lewis structure of PF2Cl3 in just 5 simple steps.

Infact, I’ve also given the step-by-step images for drawing the lewis dot structure of PF2Cl3 molecule.

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

Lewis structure of PF2Cl3 contains a single bond between the Phosphorus-Fluorine atoms and Phosphorus-Chlorine atoms. The Phosphorus atom (P) is at the center and it is surrounded by 3 Chlorine atoms (Cl) and 2 Fluorine atoms (F). The Phosphorus atom does not have a lone pair while the chlorine & fluorine atoms have three lone pairs each.

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 PF2Cl3).

5 Steps to Draw the Lewis Structure of PF2Cl3

Step #1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons

Here, the given molecule is PF2Cl3. In order to draw the lewis structure of PF2Cl3, first of all you have to find the total number of valence electrons present in the PF2Cl3 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 PF2Cl3

  • For Phosphorus: 

Phosphorus is a group 15 element on the periodic table. [1]

Hence, the valence electrons present in phosphorus is 5 (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).

  • For Chlorine:

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

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

Hence in a PF2Cl3 molecule, 

Valence electrons given by Phosphorus (P) atom = 5
Valence electrons given by each Fluorine (F) atom = 7
Valence electrons given by each Chlorine (Cl) atom = 7
So, total number of Valence electrons in PF2Cl3 molecule = 5 + 7(3) + 7(2) = 40

Step #2: Select the center atom

While selecting the center 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). [4]

Here in the PF2Cl3 molecule, if we compare the phosphorus atom (P), fluorine atom (F) and chlorine atom (Cl), then phosphorus is less electronegative.

So, phosphorus should be placed in the center and the remaining fluorine and chlorine 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 PF2Cl3 molecule, put the two electrons (i.e electron pair) between each phosphorus-fluorine and phosphorus-chlorine atoms to represent a chemical bond between them.

step 2

These pairs of electrons present between the Phosphorus (P), Fluorine (F) and Chlorine (Cl) atoms form a chemical bond, which bonds these atoms in a PF2Cl3 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 PF2Cl3, the outer atoms are fluorine atoms and chlorine atoms.

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

step 3

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

Also, all the 40 valence electrons of PF2Cl3 molecule (as calculated in step #1) are used in the above structure. So there are no remaining electron pairs.

Hence there is no change in the above sketch of PF2Cl3.

Let’s move to the next step.

Step #5: 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 phosphorus atom (P), fluorine atoms (F) as well as chlorine atoms (Cl).

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

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

step 4
  • For Phosphorus:
    Valence electrons = 5 (as it is in group 15)
    Nonbonding electrons = 0
    Bonding electrons = 10
  • For Fluorine:
    Valence electron = 7 (as it is in group 17)
    Nonbonding electrons = 6
    Bonding electrons = 2
  • 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 charges on phosphorus, fluorine as well as chlorine are “zero”.

Hence, there will not be any change in the above structure and the above lewis structure of PF2Cl3 is the final stable structure only.

Each electron pair (:) in the lewis dot structure of PF2Cl3 represents the single bond ( | ). So the above lewis dot structure of PF2Cl3 can also be represented as shown below.

pf2cl3 lewis structure

Related lewis structures for your practice:
Lewis Structure of IBr4-
Lewis Structure of SeOBr2
Lewis Structure of HBrO2
Lewis Structure of HBrO3
Lewis Structure of HBrO4 

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