Drawing the Lewis Structure for ClF3

Viewing Notes:

  • For ClF3 Cl goes in the center since it is the least electronegative.
  • You will need to place the remaining two pairs of valence electrons (four total valence non-bonding valence electrons) on the central Cl after filling the octets of the Fluorine atoms.
  • For the ClF5 Lewis structure there are a total of 28 valence electrons available.

Transcript: This is Dr. B. Let's do the ClF3 Lewis structure. ClF3 has a total of 28 valence electrons. We'll put the Chlorine at the center and the Fluorines around the outside. Form chemical bonds between the atoms here. We've used 6 valence electrons; and then around the outside, we've used 6, 8, and 24. That means we have 4 valence electrons left over. We're going to put those two pairs, those four valence electrons, on the central Carbon—central Chlorine, right here. We're going to put those two pairs of electrons on the Chlorine, like this.

Let's check our formal charges and make sure that this is the best structure for ClF3. So we can see on the periodic table, Chlorine has 7 valence electrons. It has 4, on the Lewis structure here, nonbonding valence electrons, and then 6 that are involved in chemical bonds, which we divide by 2. Seven minus 4 minus 3 is zero. All of the Fluorines are the same, they're symmetrical, so let's just do one of them. On the periodic table, 7. We see that there are six nonbonding around the Fluorines, and then these two right here involved in the chemical bonds. Seven minus 6 minus 1 is zero. So in our Lewis structure for ClF3, we have formal charges of zero for each of the atoms. We've used all the valence electrons, so this is the best structure for ClF3.

This is Dr. B., and thanks for watching.