ClO2 is the molecule formula that Chlorine dioxide the is frequently used come treat drinkable water. It is far much better than chlorine due to the fact that it has greater solubility in water and does no hydrolyze uneven chlorine, and also resides as liquified gas.

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In ionic type chlorine dioxide is well-known as chlorite with the molecule formula (ClO2-). The is clear from the chemical formula the chlorine dioxide or chlorite is a strong oxidizing agent.

Chlorine dioxide often tends to get reduced and carry out oxygen to different substrates throughout an oxidation-reduction or oxidization reaction.

From this, it deserve to be interpreted that chlorine dioxide in one ionic state will certainly be a strong oxidizer of chlorine oxyanions.

Recently, this compound was in limelight due to a fraudulent case to cure coronavirus.

Let us study this link in an ext detail.

Lewis structure of Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2-)

The Lewis framework is a pictorial representation that valence electrons taking component in the development of bonds to create a brand-new molecule with brand-new properties altogether.

To begin drawing the Lewis structure of Chlorine dioxide, first, that is essential to draw one because that the participating elements.

For Chlorine,

Atomic number = 17

Electronic construction = 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p5

Valence electrons = 7

For Oxygen,

Atomic number = 8

Electronic configuration = 1s2 2s2 2p4

Valence electron = 6


Now, it will be easier to attract the Lewis structure of chlorine dioxide as we recognize that there space 20 valence electron in one chlorine dioxide molecule.

It can confuse many civilization as ClO2 comprises 19 valence electron only.

Here, that is vital to understand that chlorine dioxide is a solid anion and also oxidizing agent.

This arises from the reality that chlorine dioxide is an turbulent molecule and mainly exists together ClO2- throughout bond formation. Due to this, the valence electrons in chlorine dioxide or chlorite space 20.

We will draw the Lewis framework of chlorine dioxide with 20 valence electrons.

Let us follow some steps to attract the Lewis framework of chlorine dioxide:

Step 1: Find the total valence electron in one molecule the chlorine dioxide.

It is 20 together chlorine has 7 valence electrons and also oxygen has 6 valence electrons.

There space two oxygen molecules in chlorine dioxide therefore the full is 19.

But chlorine dioxide exists together ClO2- during the development of a bond, because of this we have one much more valence electron available.

So, the total number of valence electrons obtainable in one chlorine dioxide or chlorite molecule is 20.

Step 2: Find the valence electrons further needed to stabilize the molecule.

By the octet rule, each element needs eight valence electron to finish its digital configuration.

Here, one anomaly exists v the chlorine atom together it can increase that octet come accommodate much more valence electrons. The is a classic example the chemistry being full of exceptions!

Chlorine belongs come the 3rd group in the periodic table. The 3rd group has the capacity to increase its octet and accommodate an ext valence electron to attain a secure molecular structure.

Hence, with no anomaly, the complete valence electrons forced by one chlorine dioxide would have been 24 i beg your pardon is currently 26 through the anomaly of expanded octet in chlorine atom.

Step 3: Draw the skeleton of chlorine dioxide.


The aforementioned diagram is among the lewis structures of chlorine dioxide but, we require to inspect its stability with the assist of formal charge distribution.

The factor for the same is every molecule desires to attain a steady structure that deserve to be gained only v zero formal fee distribution.

Now we should calculate the officially charge distribution on chlorine dioxide molecule:

Formal charge = Valence electrons – Non-Bonding electron – ½ Bonding Electrons

For Chlorine,

Formal fee = 7 – 4 – 4/2 = +1

For Oxygen,

Formal fee = 6 – 6 – 2/2 = -1

Here +1 formal charge of the chlorine atom cancels out the -1 formal fee of one of the oxygen atoms.

With this, -1 formal fee still stays on another oxygen atom.

Therefore the above structure is unstable because there exists an additional Lewis structure where the formal circulation of some participating atoms is zero.

Let us inspect the exactly lewis framework of the ClO2- molecule as below.


Let us uncover the officially charge circulation of the above-mentioned molecule.

Formal fee = Valence electron – Non-Bonding electron – ½ Bonding Electrons

For Chlorine,

Formal charge = 7 – 4 – 6/2 = 0

For Oxygen,

Formal charge = 6 – 6 – 2/2 = -1

For Oxygen,

Formal fee = 6 – 4 – 4/2 = 0

This framework is more suitable as the officially charge distribution on 2 atoms is zero.

Studying the officially charge circulation in detail also gives united state the factor behind the double bond forming in between one oxygen and chlorine atom.

Step 4: Find the form of shortcut formation taking place in one chlorine oxide.

One solitary bond is formed between chlorine and oxygen atoms and also a twin bond is formed in between chlorine and another oxygen atom.

The explanation because that the very same lies in the formal charge distribution that compels the formation of a twin bond and a solitary bond.

Even despite the brand-new structure is stable, it is the oxygen atom that generally undergoes bond formation with another adjacent atom.

Step 5: Find the central atom.

Chlorine is the main atom since it is current as the solitary entity within the chlorine dioxide molecule.

Moreover, the atom v the shortest electronegativity value becomes the central atom together it has to make the maximum variety of bonds.

As a result, chlorine becomes the main atom.

Molecular Geometry of Chlorine Dioxide


From the Lewis structure, it is clear the chlorine dioxide or chlorite ion is a triatomic molecule that is bent in shape.

It is bent since of the lone bag of valence electrons on the chlorine atom and also the uneven bond kind between each chlorine and oxygen atom.

This deserve to be learned in the detail with the aid of the Valence shell Electron Pair Repulsion (VSEPR) theory or the AXN method.

According come this theory, the visibility of 2 lone pairs of valence electrons on the chlorine atom exerts force and also bends the structure offering the bond edge slightly lesser than 109°.

We understand that a single bond consists of only one sigma link whereas the double consists of one sigma and one pi bond.

Irrespective of the sigma bond thought about as the strongest kind of bond, the oxygen atom attached to chlorine through a solitary bond (sigma bond) just bonds with nearby atoms. It is because the twin bond formed in between chlorine and also oxygen atoms is stable and takes a lot of power to with the excited state.

Here, that is essential to know that the valence electron existing as the (-) sign on the oxygen atom is responsible for the bond formation since it is unstable and also needs an ext valence electron to achieve a steady configuration.

From the AXN method, that is clear that the share formula the chlorine dioxide is AX2N2 together the central atom has two bonded atoms and also two lone bag of valence electrons.

Hence the molecular geometry that chlorine dioxide is bent and also electron geometry is tetrahedral.

Moreover, it could interest girlfriend that through the AXN method, we can determine the hybridization of the main atom i m sorry is Sp3 in chlorine dioxide.

Hybridization in Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2)


From the AXN method, it is clear the the hybridization the chlorine is sp3.

Here that is crucial to know that in the situation of one an ext Lewis structure where chlorine and both oxygen atoms are forming dual bonds, the hybridization that the chlorine atom will certainly be sp2.

Such a Lewis structure is not a usual case due to the fact that chlorine dioxide is existing in ClO2- form.

In the situation of the chlorite ion, mixing and inter-mixing that one 2s and three 2p orbitals takes location to type four brand-new hybrid orbitals of comparable energy.

For the sigma bond, head-on overlapping takes ar whereas, for the pi bond, lateral overlapping take away place.

Sigma link is much more stable than the pi bond since it undergoes head-on overlapping which is lot stronger than lateral overlapping that pi bond.

Polarity in Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2)

Chlorine dioxide is a polar molecule because it is a strong anion and exists in the ionic form.

It is vital to understand that the preeminence of electronegativity difference will no be applicable in this case.

Although the electronegativity difference in between oxygen and chlorine atom is much less than 0.4, chlorine dioxide is a polar molecule which is due to the fact that that is a solid anion.

Let us also check the end its properties and also uses.

Properties of Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2)

Molecule NameChlorine dioxide
Chemical FormulaClO2
Molecular GeometryBent
Electron GeometryTetrahedral
Bond Angle°
Available Valence Electrons20

Uses that Chlorine Dioxide

1. That is used during food processing to keep it because that a longer duration.

2. It is provided to eradicate molds.

3. It is supplied to manage odor.

4. That is offered by health care professionals throughout various dental applications.

5. The is supplied as a disinfectant for vehicles, floor, air, swim pool.

6. The is supplied to clean wounds.

7. The is a strong bleaching agent.


1. Chlorine dioxide is a solid anion and also mainly exists as chlorite in the ionic form.

2. The molecular geometry the chlorine dioxide is bent and also the bond edge is slightly much less than 109 degrees.

3. The hybridization of chlorine dioxide is sp2 and its ion is sp3.

4. The hybridization can further be studied in information with the assist of a molecular orbital diagram.

5. The officially charge circulation on chlorine dioxide is -1.

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6. The hybridization can be learned in the detail with the assist of Valence Bond theory (VBT).