Thionyl chloride appears as a colourless liquid is an inorganic compound with the chemistry formula SOCl2. It has a suffocating pungent odour and also is mainly used together a chlorinating agent. It is very corrosive and also toxic in nature.

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In this article, us will discuss SOCl2 lewis structure, molecule geometry, link angle, hybridization, polar or nonpolar, etc.

Thionyl chloride is provided in the manufacturing of chemistry weapons as result of its high toxicity nature. Lengthy term inhalation of this link can cause many adverse health effects.

Properties that Thionyl chloride

It shows up as colourless come yellow fuming liquidIt is dissolve in water.It has a boiling allude of 74.6 °C and a melting point of −104.5 °C.It has a dipole moment of 1.44D.It is non-flammable in nature.
Name the MoleculeThionyl chloride
Chemical formulaSOCl2
Molecular geometry that SOCl2Trigonal pyramid
Electron geometry of SOCl2Tetrahedral
HybridizationSp³
Total Valence electron because that SOCl226
The formal fee of SOCl20

Page Contents present
1 exactly how to attract lewis framework of SOCl2?
2 procedures to draw lewis framework of SOCl2
3 What is the molecule geometry of SOCl2?
4 What is the Hybridization the SOCl2?
5 What is the Bond edge of SOCl2?
6 Thionyl chloride polarity: is SOCl2 polar or nonpolar
7 an overview

How to attract lewis framework of SOCl2?


SOCl2 lewis structure consists of a sulfur atom in central position vice versa, the two chlorine and also one oxygen atom spread out evenly approximately it. Over there is one dual bond and also two solitary bonds existing in the lewis framework of SOCl2.

The lewis dot structure of SOCl2 disobeys the octet ascendancy for attaining stability, let’s see how to attract this in a simple way.


Steps to attract lewis structure of SOCl2

1. Count total valence electron in SOCl2

In the very an initial step, we will certainly count the complete valence electron in the SOCl2 molecule. To calculation the valence electron, look at the periodic group of the individual atoms – sulfur, oxygen, and also chlorine.

The chlorine atom belongs come the periodic team 7A or 17th in the periodic table, hence, the valence electron in the chlorine atom is 7. The oxygen and sulfur atom are situated in the very same periodic team which is 6A or 16th in the regular table.

Hence, the valence electron in both sulfur and oxygen is 6.

⇒ Valence electron in chlorine atom = 7

⇒ Valence electron in oxygen atom = 6

⇒ Valence electron in sulfur atom = 6

∴ full valence electron available for illustration the Lewis structure of SOCl2 = 6 + 6 + 7(2) = 26 valence electrons  <∴SOCl2 has one oxygen, one sulfur and also two chlorine atoms>

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2. Uncover the the very least electronegative atom and also placed it in ~ center

Now we will find the the very least electronegative atom in the SOCl2 compound, after that, we will ar it in ~ the center in the lewis diagram and the remainder atoms will certainly be spread approximately it.

The electronegativity worth of the sulfur atom is 2.58, because that a chlorine atom, that is 3.16. And for oxygen atoms, the electronegativity is 3.44.

Hence, the sulfur atom is the least electronegative atom in the SOCl2 compound, therefore, we will placed the sulfur atom at a main position in the lewis diagram.

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3. Attach outer atom to central atom with a single bond

In this step, we simply attach each external atom(chlorine and oxygen) come the main atom(sulfur) v the aid of a solitary bond.


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Now count the valence electron used in the above structure. A solitary bond method two electrons, in the above structure, three solitary bonds are offered for connecting the two chlorine and also one oxygen atom to the sulfur central atom.

Therefore, (3 solitary bonds × 2) = 6 valence electrons are supplied in the over structure from the full of 26 valence electrons easily accessible for illustration the lewis framework of SOCl2.

∴ (26 – 6) = 20 valence electrons

So, we are left with 20 valence electron more.

4. Ar remaining valence electrons beginning from outer atom first

In this step, we will put the remaining valence electron on the external atom first for completing their octet. In a SOCl2 molecule, the external atom is oxygen and also chlorine. And also both these need 8 electron in their external shell to complete the octet.

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As you see in the above figure, we have placed the 6 electrons represented as dots approximately each external atom(chlorine and oxygen). This is since chlorine and also oxygen atoms already have 2 electrons(one solitary bond) in their external shell.

Hence, both these only require 6 an ext electrons because that completing the octet.

Now as soon as again count the full valence electron in the over structure.

∴ (3 single bond × 2 electron + 18 electrons stood for as dots) = 24 valence electrons are provided in the over structure.

5. Complete main atom octet and make covalent link if necessary

As we already completed the octet of external atoms, now, we have to complete the octet that the main atom likewise which is sulfur in the SOCl2 compound.

In the 4th action structure, we supplied the 24 valence electron from the total of 26 obtainable valence electrons. Hence, we room left with only two valence electrons. Just put these electrons over the sulfur atom.

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So, we have actually used every the valence electrons that are obtainable for drawing the lewis framework of SOCl2. Yet we don’t recognize yet if the above structure is secure or not.

For checking this we will move forward to the formal charge concept.

6. Check the stability with the aid of a formal fee concept

The structure with the formal charge close to zero or zero is the best and also stable lewis structure.

To calculate the formal fee on an atom. Use the formula given below-

⇒ officially charge = (valence electrons – lone pair electrons – 1/2shared pair electrons)

We will calculate the formal fee on the 5th step structure come verify its stability.

For sulfur atom-


⇒ Valence electron that sulfur = 6

⇒ Lone pair electrons on sulfur = 2

⇒ common pair electrons about sulfur(three solitary bonds) = 6

∴ F.C. On sulfur atom = (6 – 2 – 6/2) = +1.

For oxygen atom –

⇒ Valence electron that oxygen = 6

⇒ Lone pair electrons on oxygen = 6

⇒ common pair electrons approximately oxygen(one solitary bond) = 2

∴ F.C. ~ above oxygen atom = (6 – 6 – 2/2) = -1.


For chlorine atom –

⇒ Valence electron of chlorine = 7

⇒ Lone pair electrons on chlorine = 6

⇒ mutual pair electrons roughly chlorine(one single bond) = 2

∴ F.C. ~ above chlorine atom = (7 – 6 – 2/2) = 0

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Obviously, the above structure is not stable as it attains a an extremely high formal charge. We have to lower the formal charge of the above structure by convert lone bag to bond bag (covalent bonds).

Note: The sulfur atom is outstanding to the octet preeminence as it deserve to hold an ext than 8 electrons in the outermost shell since it is the element of the duration (row) 3 in the periodic table that can have expanded octet. 

Expanded octet: A case where an atom shares an ext than eight electrons v its bonding partners. 

The chlorine atom currently getting the formal charge zero, hence, we need to not shot to touch it. Just convert the lone pair of oxygen atoms to the bonded pair(covalent bond).


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As you watch in the above figure, we transform the one lone pairs of oxygen atoms to a covalent bond and also we successfully decreased the formal fee of sulfur and oxygen atom same to zero

So, the last lewis structure of SOCl2 consists of one dual bond and two single bonds, the chlorine and also oxygen atom have actually 8 electrons in their outer shell and also the sulfur main atom has 10 electrons in its external shell as it has actually the ability to expand the octet.

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SOCl2 lewis dot structure

‍∴ The as whole formal charge in SOCl2 is zero. Hence, the above lewis structure of thionyl chloride is most stable, appropriate, and reliable.


What is the molecular geometry of SOCl2?


The molecule geometry the SOCl2 is a trigonal pyramid since the central atom that it has actually one lone pair and also is attached come the 3 bonded bag that will certainly repel each various other according come the VSEPR theory, hence, this electron cloud (lone pair and bond pair) tried come remain much as lot as possible and in this process, they take up the place where the form of SOCl2 shows up as a trigonal pyramid.

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SOCl2 molecule geometry

We can use another method for finding the electron and also molecular geometry that SOCl2 i m sorry is the AXN method.

AXN notation because that SOCl2 molecule:

A represents the central atom, so, in the SOCl2 molecule, sulfur is the main atom. A = SulfurX denotes the bonded atoms to the main atom, as we know, sulfur is bonded v two chlorine atoms and also one oxygen atom. Therefore, X = 3N denotes the lone pair ~ above the central atom, as per SOCl2 lewis structure, sulfur has only one lone pair. Hence, N = 1

So, the AXN notation for the SOCl2 molecule becomes AX3N1

As per the VSEPR chart, if a molecule central atom is fastened with three bonded atoms and also has consisted of only one lone pair top top the main atom then the molecule geometry of the molecule is the trigonal pyramid in nature, and electron geometry is tetrahedral.


Bonded atomsLone pairGeneric formulaHybridizationMolecular geometryElectron geometry
10AXSLinearLinear
20AX2SpLinearLinear
11AXNSpLinearLinear
30AX3Sp²Trigonal planarTrigonal planar
21AX2NSp²BentTrigonal planar
12AXN2Sp²LinearTrigonal planar
40AX4Sp³TetrahedralTetrahedral
31AX3N1Sp³Trigonal pyramidTetrahedral
22AX2N2Sp³BentTetrahedral
13AXN3Sp³LinearTetrahedral
32AX3N2Sp³dT-shapedTrigonal bipyramidal

Hence, the molecular shape of SOCl2 is a trigonal pyramid, and also electron geometry is tetrahedral.

What is the Hybridization that SOCl2?

We deserve to calculate the hybridization of SOCl2 making use of the steric number formula provided below:

∴ Steric number of SOCl2 = (Number of bonded atom attached come sulfur + Lone pair top top sulfur atom)

As per the SOCl2 lewis dot structure, the sulfur atom is bonded with two chlorine atoms and also one oxygen atom and also contains just one lone pair.

∴ Steric number of SOCl2 = (3 + 1) = 4

So, for the steric number of 4, we obtain the hybridization that SOCl2 is Sp3.

What is the Bond angle of SOCl2?

The bond angle of ∠O = S – Cl is 107.4º and also ∠Cl – S – Cl is = 96.5º.

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So, Is SOCl2 polar or nonpolar? SOCl2 is a polar molecule due to the fact that of its asymmetrical framework that causes uneven charge distribution and also that contributes come the nonzero dipole moment and making this molecule polar in nature.

Also, the sulfur atom gets the positive charge since of its less electronegativity and also both chlorine and oxygen atom gets an unfavorable charge because of there high electronegativity.

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The separation of positive and negative charges leader the dipole moment in SOCl2 command from sulfur come chlorine or sulfur to oxygen.