Lewis Structure of PH2- (With 6 Simple Steps to Draw!)

Lewis Structure of PH2-

I’m super excited to teach you the lewis structure of PH2- ion in just 6 simple steps.

Infact, I’ve also given the step-by-step images for drawing the lewis dot structure of PH2- ion.

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

Lewis structure of PH2- ion contains two single bonds between the Phosphorus (P) atom and each Hydrogen (H) atom. The Phosphorus atom (P) is at the center and it is surrounded by 2 Hydrogen atoms (H). The Phosphorus atom has 2 lone pairs and it also has -1 formal charge.

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 PH2- ion).

6 Steps to Draw the Lewis Structure of PH2-

Step #1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons

Here, the given ion is PH2- ion. In order to draw the lewis structure of PH2- ion, first of all you have to find the total number of valence electrons present in the PH2- ion.
(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 PH2-

  • For Phosphorus: 

Phosphorus is a group 15 element on the periodic table.

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

  • For Hydrogen: 

Hydrogen is a group 1 element on the periodic table.

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

Hence in a PH2- ion, 

Valence electrons given by Phosphorus (P) atom = 5
Valence electrons given by each Hydrogen (H) atom = 1
Electron due to -1 charge, 1 more electron is added
So, total number of Valence electrons in PH2- ion = 5 + 1(2) + 1 = 8

Step #2: Select the center atom (H is always outside)

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 PH2 molecule, if we compare the phosphorus atom (P) and hydrogen atom (H), then hydrogen is less electronegative than phosphorus. But as per the rule, we have to keep hydrogen outside.

So, phosphorus should be placed in the center and the remaining 2 hydrogen 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 PH2 molecule, put the two electrons (i.e electron pair) between each phosphorus atom and hydrogen atom to represent a chemical bond between them.

step 2

These pairs of electrons present between the Phosphorus (P) and Hydrogen (H) atoms form a chemical bond, which bonds the phosphorus and hydrogen atoms with each other in a PH2 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 PH2, the outer atoms are hydrogen atoms.

So now, you have to check whether these hydrogen atoms are forming a duplet or not! (because hydrogen requires only 2 electrons to have a complete outer shell).

step 3

You can see in the above image that all the hydrogen atoms form a duplet.

Also, only 4 valence electrons of PH2- ion are used in the above structure.

But there are total 8 valence electrons in PH2- ion (as calculated in step #1).

So the number of electrons left to be kept on the central atom = 8 – 4 = 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 phosphorus) has an octet or not. 

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

step 5

As you can see from the above image, the central atom (i.e phosphorus), has 8 electrons. So it fulfills the octet rule and the phosphorus 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 phosphorus atom (P) as well as each 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 Phosphorus:
    Valence electrons = 5 (as it is in group 15)
    Nonbonding electrons = 4
    Bonding electrons = 4
  • For Hydrogen:
    Valence electron = 1 (as it is in group 1)
    Nonbonding electrons = 0
    Bonding electrons = 2
Formal charge=Valence electronsNonbonding electrons(Bonding electrons)/2

Let’s keep this charge on the phosphorus atom in the above lewis structure of PH2 molecule.

step 7

As you can see in the above sketch, there is one -ve charge on the phosphorus atom, which indicates the -1 formal charge on the PH2 molecule.

Hence, the above lewis structure of PH2- ion is the stable lewis structure.

Each electron pair (:) in the lewis dot structure of PH2- ion represents the single bond ( | ). So the above lewis dot structure of PH2- ion can also be represented as shown below.

ph2- lewis structure

Related lewis structures for your practice:
Lewis Structure of NS2
Lewis Structure of SiH2O
Lewis Structure of OF3-
Lewis Structure of PH4+
Lewis Structure of SHF 

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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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