The **Lewis structure of ClO**_{2}** ^{–}** contains one double bond and one single bond, with chlorine in the center, and two oxygens on either side. The left oxygen atom has two lone pairs, the right oxygen atom has three lone pairs, and the chlorine atom also has two lone pairs.

Plus, there is a negative (-1) charge on the right oxygen atom.

## Steps

By using the following steps, you can easily draw the Lewis structure of ClO_{2}^{–}:

#1 Draw skeleton

#2 Show chemical bond

#3 Mark lone pairs

#4 Calculate formal charge and check stability (if octet is already completed on central atom)

#5 Convert lone pair and calculate formal charge again (if formal charges are not closer to zero)

Let’s one by one discuss each step in detail.

### #1 Draw skeleton

In this step, first calculate the total number of valence electrons. And then, decide the central atom.

- Let’s calculate the total number of valence electrons

We know that… chlorine is a group 17 element and oxygen is a group 16 element. Hence, chlorine has **seven** valence electrons and oxygen has **six** valence electrons.

Now ClO_{2}^{–} has one chlorine atom and two oxygen atoms.

So the total number of valence electrons = valence electrons of chlorine atom + (valence electrons of oxygen atom × 2)

And ClO_{2}^{–} has a negative (-1) charge, so we have to add one more electron.

Therefore, the **total number of valence electrons** = 7 + 12 + 1 = 20

- Now decide the central atom

The atom with the least electronegative value is placed at the center. By looking at the periodic table, we get the electronegativity values for chlorine and oxygen as follows:

Electronegativity value of chlorine = 3.16

Electronegativity value of oxygen = 3.44

Obviously, chlorine is less electronegative than oxygen. Hence, assume that **chlorine is the central atom**.

So now, put chlorine in the center and oxygens on either side. And draw the rough skeleton structure for the Lewis structure of ClO_{2}^{–} something like this:

**Also read:** How to draw Lewis structure of H_{2}O_{2} (4 steps)

### #2 Show chemical bond

Place two electrons between the atoms to show a chemical bond. Since chlorine is surrounded by two oxygens, use four electrons to show **two chemical bonds** as follows:

### #3 Mark lone pairs

As calculated earlier, we have a total of 20 valence electrons. And in the above structure, we have already used four valence electrons. Hence, sixteen valence electrons are remaining.

Two valence electrons represent one lone pair. So sixteen valence electrons = **eight lone pairs**.

Note that chlorine is period 3 element, so it can keep more than 8 electrons in its last shell. And oxygen is a period 2 element, so it can not keep more than 8 electrons in its last shell.

Also, make sure that you start marking these lone pairs on outside atoms first. And then, on the central atom.

The outside atoms are oxygens, so each oxygen will get three lone pairs. And the central atom (chlorine) will get two lone pairs.

So the Lewis structure of ClO_{2}^{–} looks something like this:

In the above structure, you can see that the octet is completed on the central atom (chlorine), and also on the outside atoms. Therefore, the octet rule is satisfied.

Now calculate the formal charge and check the stability of the above structure.

**Also read:** How to draw Lewis structure of ClO_{3}^{–} (5 steps)

### #4 Calculate formal charge and check stability

The following formula is used to calculate the formal charges on atoms:

Formal charge = valence electrons – nonbonding electrons – ½ bonding electrons

Collect the data from the above structure and then, write it down below as follows:

- For
**chlorine**atom

Valence electrons = 7

Nonbonding electrons = 4

Bonding electrons = 4

Formal charge = 7 – 4 – ½ (4) = +1

- For
**each oxygen**atom

Valence electrons = 6

Nonbonding electrons = 6

Bonding electrons = 2

Formal charge = 6 – 6 – ½ (2) = -1

Mention the formal charges of atoms on the structure. So the Lewis structure of ClO_{2}^{–} looks something like this:

In the above structure, you can see that the formal charges of atoms are not closer to zero. Therefore, convert lone pair and calculate formal charge again.

**Also read:** How to draw Lewis structure of CH_{2}Cl_{2} (4 steps)

### #5 Convert lone pair and calculate formal charge again

As mentioned earlier, chlorine is a period 3 element, so it can keep more than 8 electrons in its last shell.

So convert one lone pair from one oxygen atom to make a new bond with the chlorine atom. And then, the Lewis structure of ClO_{2}^{–} looks something like this:

Now one last thing we need to do is, calculate the formal charge again and check the stability of the above structure.

Formal charge = valence electrons – nonbonding electrons – ½ bonding electrons

Collect the data from the above structure and then, write it down below as follows:

- For
**chlorine**atom

Valence electrons = 7

Nonbonding electrons = 4

Bonding electrons = 6

Formal charge = 7 – 4 – ½ (6) = 0

- For
**left oxygen**atom

Valence electrons = 6

Nonbonding electrons = 4

Bonding electrons = 4

Formal charge = 6 – 4 – ½ (4) = 0

- For
**right oxygen**atom

Valence electrons = 6

Nonbonding electrons = 6

Bonding electrons = 2

Formal charge = 6 – 6 – ½ (2) = -1

Mention the formal charges of atoms on the structure. So the Lewis structure of ClO_{2}^{–} looks something like this:

In the above structure, you can see that the formal charges of atoms are closer to zero. Therefore, this is the **most stable Lewis structure of ClO**_{2}** ^{–}**.

And each horizontal line drawn in the above structure represents a pair of bonding valence electrons.

Now ClO_{2}^{–} is an ion having a negative (-1) charge, so draw brackets around the above Lewis structure and mention that charge on the top right corner. And then, the Lewis structure of ClO_{2}^{–} looks something like this:

## Related

- Lewis structure of H
_{2}O_{2} - Lewis structure of ClO
_{3}^{–} - Lewis structure of CH
_{2}Cl_{2} - Lewis structure of PCl
_{5} - Lewis structure of C
_{2}H_{6}

## External video

## External links

- Drawing the Lewis Structure for ClO2 – The University of Maryland
- ClO2- lewis structure, molecular geometry, polarity, hybridization, angle – Topblogtenz
- ClO2- Lewis Structure, Geometry, Hybridization, and Polarity – Techiescientist
- How can I draw the Lewis structure for ClO2-? – Socratic
- ClO2- Lewis structure, characteristics: 11 Facts you should know – Lambda Geeks
- ClO2- lewis structure – Laurence Lavelle
- Lewis Dot of the Chlorite Ion ClO2- – Kent’s Chemistry
- Chemical Bonding: ClO2- Lewis Structure – The Geoexchange
- ClO2- lewis structure, molecular geometry, hybridization – Pinterest
- ClO2- Lewis Structure in 6 Steps (With Images) – Pediabay
- Lewis structure of clo2- – Reddit
- How to Draw the Lewis Structure for ClO2- (Chlorite Ion) – BitChute
- In the Lewis structure of ClO2- in which all atoms obey the octet rule, what is the formal charge on Cl? – Quora
- ClO2 (Chlorite Ion) Oxidation Number – ChemicalAid
- draw a lewis structure for clo2- – Brainly
- Draw the Lewis structure of the chlorite ion, ClO2- which is used as a bleaching agent – Numerade
- Draw the Lewis structure for ClO2- – Chegg
- What is the Lewis formula for the octet rule for the ions ClO2? – Answers
- How many valence electrons does ClO2- get in its Lewis Dot diagram? – Bartleby

Deep

Rootmemory.com was founded by Deep Rana, who is a mechanical engineer by profession and a blogger by passion. He has a good conceptual knowledge on different educational topics and he provides the same on this website. He loves to learn something new everyday and believes that the best utilization of free time is developing a new skill.