Drawing the Lewis Structure for COCl2

Viewing Notes:

  • In the COCl2 Lewis structure, Carbon is less electron electronegative than Oxygen and goes in the center of the Lewis structure (note that Hydrogen atoms always go on the outside).
  • In the Lewis structure for COCl2 there are a total of 24 valence electrons.
  • You'll need to form a double bond between the Carbon and Oxygen to complete the octet on the Carbon atom.

Transcript: Let's do the Lewis structure for COCl2. Carbon, in group 4 or 14, has 4 valence electrons. Oxygen in group 6, sometimes called 16, 6 valence electrons. Seven for Chlorine but we have two Chlorines. Add it all up, 4 plus 6 plus 14, you have a total of 24 valence electrons. Carbon is the least electronegative. We'll put that in the center. Put the Oxygen and then the two Chlorines around the outside. We'll put two valence electrons between atoms to form chemical bonds, and then we'll go around the outside. So we've used 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 24. So at this point, Chlorine has 8 valence electrons, Oxygen has 8, and this Chlorine here also has 8.

But in the center, Carbon only has 6 valence electrons. Let's take two electrons from the Oxygen and share them with the Carbon. I chose the Oxygen because it's less electronegative than the Chlorine and it's going to be more likely to share its valence electrons. So now the Oxygen still has 8 valence electrons, but the Carbon also has 8. So by sharing these two valence electrons up here with the Carbon, and forming a double bond, we now have used 24 valence electrons and each of the atoms has an octet.

So this is the Lewis structure for COCl2. This is Dr. B., and thanks for watching.