Lewis Structure of SO2Cl2 (With 5 Simple Steps to Draw!)

Lewis Structure of SO2Cl2

Ready to learn how to draw the lewis structure of SO2Cl2?

Awesome!

Here, I have explained 5 simple steps to draw the lewis dot structure of SO2Cl2 (along with images).

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

Lewis structure of SO2Cl2 contains double bonds between the Sulfur (S) atom & Oxygen (O) atoms and single bonds between the Sulfur (S) atom and Chlorine (Cl) atoms. The Sulfur atom (S) is at the center and it is surrounded by 2 Oxygen atoms (O) and 2 Chlorine atoms (Cl).

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 SO2Cl2).

5 Steps to Draw the Lewis Structure of SO2Cl2

Step #1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons

Here, the given molecule is SO2Cl2. In order to draw the lewis structure of SO2Cl2, first of all you have to find the total number of valence electrons present in the SO2Cl2 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 SO2Cl2

  • For Sulfur:

Sulfur is a group 16 element on the periodic table.

Hence, the valence electrons present in sulfur is 6 (see below image).

  • For Oxygen:

Oxygen is also a group 16 element on the periodic table.

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

  • For Chlorine:

Chlorine is a group 17 element on the periodic table.

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

Hence in a SO2Cl2 molecule, 

Valence electrons given by Sulfur (S) atom = 6
Valence electrons given by each Oxygen (O) atom = 6
Valence electrons given by each Chlorine (Cl) atom = 7
So, total number of Valence electrons in SO2Cl2 molecule = 6 + 6(2) + 7(2) = 32

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).

Here in the SO2Cl2 molecule, if we compare the sulfur atom (S), oxygen atom (O) and chlorine atom (Cl), then sulfur is less electronegative than oxygen and chlorine.

So, sulfur should be placed in the center and the remaining 2 oxygen atoms as well as 2 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 SO2Cl2, put the two electrons (i.e electron pair) between each atom to represent a chemical bond between them.

step 2

These pairs of electrons form a chemical bond, which bonds these atoms with each other in a SO2Cl2 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 SO2Cl2 molecule, the outer atoms are oxygen atoms and chlorine atoms.

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

step 3

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

Also, all the 32 valence electrons of SO2Cl2 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 SO2Cl2 molecule.

Let’s move to the next step.

Step #5: Check the formal charge

You can see from the above image that the central atom (i.e sulfur), is having 8 electrons. So it fulfills the octet rule.

But, in order to get the most stable lewis structure, we have to check the formal charge on the SO2Cl2 molecule.

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

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

step 4
  • For Sulfur:
    Valence electrons = 6 (as it is in group 16)
    Nonbonding electrons = 0
    Bonding electrons = 8
  • For Oxygen:
    Valence electron = 6 (as it is in group 16)
    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
S=608/2=+2
O=662/2=-1
Cl=762/2=0

Let’s keep these charges on the atoms in the above lewis structure of SO2Cl2 molecule.

step 5

As we know that sulfur can hold more than 8 electrons, we can further reduce the charges as mentioned below.

step 6

By doing this, the formal charges on the two oxygen atoms as well as one central sulfur atom becomes “zero”, and this gives us the most stable lewis structure of SO2Cl2.

Each electron pair (:) in the lewis dot structure of SO2Cl2 molecule represents the single bond ( | ). So the above lewis dot structure of SO2Cl2 molecule can also be represented as shown below.

SO2Cl2 lewis structure

Related lewis structures for your practice:
Lewis Structure of C4H10 (Butane)
Lewis Structure of C2H3Cl
Lewis Structure of CH2Br2
Lewis Structure of SiBr4
Lewis Structure of SeO3 

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