How do we write the Lewis structure of the hypochlorite anion, #ClO^(-)#?

1 Answer
Oct 8, 2016


These try to depict the electronic structure of #ClO^-# anion.


In fact the given diagram is highly misleading and ambiguous. The valence electrons around the chlorine atom were depicted. Why should only the chlorine-based electrons be? As written, the chlorine atom is neutral. A similar depiction should have been given around oxygen, and here a formal negative charge would be associated with the oxygen atom, as is required for the #ClO^-# anion, where the negative charge would lie on the oxygen atom.

For chlorate anion there are #6+7+1# valence electrons, i.e 7 electron pairs. One of the electron pairs is conceived to form the #Cl-O# bond. The other 6 are conceived to form 3 lone pairs around the chlorine and oxygen atoms.