When solving the lewis structure for the $\ce{ClO2-}$ ion, taking into consideration formal charges, the structure is represented as:

Chlorite ion lewis structure

A lewis model with 2 double bonds also fits the formal charge and lewis model requirements, however this time the negative formal charge would be on the chlorine atom. Is there a reason this form is not favoured?


1 Answer 1


When drawing structures and taking into consideration formal charge, negative charges are assigned to the most electronegative atoms. Since the electronegativity of chlorine is less than the electronegativity of oxygen, it follows that the model with 2 double bounds is less favorable.

  • $\begingroup$ Perfect! Thanks for the answer, I completely disregarded electronegativity. Would the 2 double bond structure be a part of a resonance form, or is it completely unfavourable? $\endgroup$
    – Adam
    May 2, 2015 at 0:57
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, although not as much as the more favorable. $\endgroup$ May 2, 2015 at 1:11

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