In XeF4 (Xenon tetrafluoride) lewis structure, there are four sigma bonds and two lone pairs around xenon atom. Each fluorine atom has three lone pairs. In this tutorial, we will learn how to draw lewis structure of XeF4 step by step.
Xenon atom is the center atom and each fluorine atom has made a single bond with xenon atom. There are two lone pairs on xenon atom. This is a rare example of a noble gas forming a chemical compound.
There are several steps to draw the lewis structure of XeF4. Each step is explained in detail in next sections. If you are a beginner to lewis structure drawing, follow these sections slowly and properly to understand it's method completely. Look the figures to understand each step.
There are only two elements in XeF4; xenon and fluorine. Xenon is a group IA element and has 8 electrons in its last shell (valence shell). Fluorine is a group VIIA element in the periodic table and contains 7 electrons in their last shell. Now we know how many electrons includes in valence shells of xenon and fluorine atom.
Total valance electrons pairs = σ bonds + π bonds + lone pairs at valence shells
Total electron pairs are determined by dividing the number total valence electrons by two. For, XeF4, total pairs of electrons are 18 (=36/2) in their valence shells.
To be the center atom, ability of having greater valance and being a electropositive element are important facts. However, from our experience we know that there is a very low possibility that fluorine atom cannot be a center atom because fluorine's maximum valence is 1 (fluorine cannot make two or more bonds).
Therefore, xenon becomes the center atom and each fluorine atom is joint with xenon atom. The basic sketch is given below.
After deciding the center atom and basic sketch of XeF4, we can start to mark lone pairs on atoms. Remember that, there are total of 18 electron pairs to mark on atoms as lone pairs and bonds.
There are no charges on atoms in above sketch and do not need to worry about reducing charges to obtain best stable structure. That means, we have already got the lewis structure of XeF4.