Lewis Structures|Dot Structures – Drawn for phosgene (COCl2) | Chemistry Net

Lewis Structures|Dot Structures – Drawn for phosgene (COCl2)

Lewis structures / Dot structures - Drawn for phosgene (COCl2)

Lewis dot structures of phosgene COCl2


A simple procedure for writing Lewis Dot Structures was given in a previous post 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).

Let us consider the case of the Lewis dot structures of phosgene COCl2.

Step 1:  The central atom will be the C atom since it is the less electronegative. Connect the atoms with single bonds:


Fig. I.1: Connect the atoms of  COCl2 with single bonds.


Step 2: Calculate the # of electrons in π bonds (pi bonds, multiple bonds) using formula (1) in the article entitled “Lewis Structures and the Octet Rule”.  Where n in this case is 4 since COCl2 consists of four atoms.

Where V = (4 + 6 + 7 + 7) = 24  

Therefore, P = 6n + 2 – V = 6 * 4 + 2 – 24 = 2   There are 2 π electrons (pi electrons) in COCl2  and so 1 double bond must be added to the structure of Step 1.


Step 3 & 4: One double bond must therefore be placed to the structure in Step 1. Therefore, the dot resonance structures of COCl2 (Lewis structures of COCl2)  are as follows:


Figure I.2: Lewis structures for COCl2. Resonance structure 2 is the most probable since the there is no charge separation


Lewis dot structure #2 is the more probable (most stable) since there is no charge separation.

Relevant Posts

Lewis Structures and the Octet Rule - A simple method to write Lewis Structures

Simple Method for writing the Lewis Structures of carbon disulfide CS2



  1. G.N. Lewis, J.A.C.S, 38, 762-785, (1916)
  2.  E. C. McGoran, J. Chem. Educ., 68, 19-23 (1991)
  3. A.B.P. Lever, J. Chem. Educ., 49, 819-821, (1972)

Key Terms

simple method for drawing Lewis structures, Lewis structures of COCl2, Lewis electron dot structures of COCl2, dot structures of COCl2,



  1. Unfortunately the charges on the Cl is wrong. The + charge should be on the Cl with double bond

  2. wait so should we or should we not draw the resonance structures when drawing the final lewis structure of COCl2