# Simple method for writing Lewis Structures: Chlorine Dioxide ClO_{2}

A ** simple procedure for writing Lewis electron dot structures** is given in a previous article entitled “Lewis Structures and the Octet Rule”. Several worked examples relevant to this procedure were given in previous posts please see the ** Sitemap - Table of Contents (Lewis Electron Dot Structures)**.

Another example for writing Lewis structures following the above procedure is given below.

Let us consider the case of the** Lewis dot structures of chlorine dioxide ClO _{2}**. Chlorine dioxide is used mainly for bleaching of wood pulp, for bleaching of flour and for the disinfection of municipal drinking water

How can we draw the **Lewis structure of ClO _{2}**?

__Step 1__:
Connect the atoms with single bonds. Chlorine is the central atom.

__Step 2__:
Calculate the # of electrons in π
bonds (multiple bonds) using ** formula (1) **in the article entitled “Lewis Structures and the Octet Rule”.

Where n in this case is 3 since ClO_{2} consists of three atoms.

Where V = (6 + 6 + 7 ) = 19

Therefore, P = 6n + 2 – V = 6 * 3 + 2 – 19 = 1 **So there is only 1 ****π electron in** ClO_{2 }

**So the structure of Step 1 is the Lewis structure. **

Electrons are placed around each atom so that the octet rule is obeyed. Since the number of valence electrons is odd the octet rule will not be obeyed in all atoms. Formal charges are assigned and equalized using resonance.

__Step 3
& 4__: The **Lewis structures of ClO _{2 }**are derived below:

Would structures 1 and 2 be more likely than 3 because oxygen carries the charge, or is it better that 3 has no charge?

ReplyDeleteThe most probable Lewis structure is #3 because there is no charge separation. Species with no charge are more stable and therefore less reactive. Structure #3 contributes more to the hybrid than #1 or #2.

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ReplyDeleteDoesn't this molecule usually have a -1 charge? The lone electron under chlorine makes drawing the molecule's shape a little confusing.

DeleteSorry, I made a couple typos in the previous post

The most correct structure Lewis is #3, because the Formal Charge in Cl=0 and O=0.

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