CCl4 Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, and MO Diagram


Carbon Tetrachloride is a chemical that is produced and is not available naturally. In its natural state, it is a colorless liquid chemical with a little sweet smell like ether.

Initially, the compound had everyday applications but considering its harm to humans the chemical is now banned from use.

The compound is clear and very stable in nature.

CCl4 is also named carbon chloride, methane tetrachloride, benziform, and more.

The liquid is not soluble in water and is non-combustible.

The boiling point of CCl4 is 76.8 degrees Celcius and its melting point is -23.0 degrees Celcius. CCl4 will release toxic fumes like carbon monoxide. if it is led to decomposition.

If any human inhales CCl4 compound (short-term) or gets orally exposed to it then they can feel headache, lethargy, weakness, and nausea.

If the compound is consumed or exposed to humans in large or continuous motion then the person or group of people can suffer from kidney or liver damage.

These are some of the basic properties of Carbon tetrachloride.

Now let’s move into the study of its structure and other details, starting from its Lewis structure.


How to Draw Lewis Structure

Drawing any compounds Lewis Structure is paramount due to one main reason- “you understand the properties of compound better”.

The Lewis structures are also known as Lewis dot diagrams or electron dot diagrams. This nomenclature is there because of the bond representation that takes place within the compound.

Lone electrons are represented as dots in the Lewis structure, whereas, bonds are represented as a single line in the structure.

All the electrons that take part in forming bonds are known as bonding pairs of electrons.

And the electrons that do not take part in forming bonds are known as non-bonding pairs of electrons.

The bonds and lone pairs are collectively known as Valence electrons.

For any compound to be stable, the octet rule has to be followed. According to which there should be 8 electrons in the outer shell of an atom.

Let us quickly hop on to the next segment which is understanding the Lewis structure of CCl4.


CCl4 Lewis Structure

Now as you know the concept of how the Lewis structure is constructed and what is its importance. Let us not waste time in understanding the structure of CCl4.

In every compound there is a central atom, in the case of CCl4, the central atom is Carbon to which atoms of Chlorine are bonded or attached.

All the electrons that are shared between C and Cl form a bond. The other electrons that are left form a lone pair.

To understand this better, let us calculate the Valence electrons of CCl4.

We will be needing to add all the electrons that are bonded and those which are lone to get the number of Valence electrons.


C (Carbon) has 4 Valence Electrons.

Cl (Chlorine) has 7 Valence Electrons.

There are 4 atoms of Chlorine here.

So, total number of Valence Electrons is,

= 7*4 = 28 Valence Electrons.

The final sum of C and Cl electrons thus comes up to,

= 4+28 = 32 Valence Electrons.

Here all four atoms of Carbon participate in bond formation with one electron of Chlorine.

Thus, 4 electrons of Carbon and 4 electrons of Chlorine are used in bond formation, which totals as 8 electrons.
Now, the remaining number of electrons is:

=32-8 = 24 Valence Electrons.

These 24 are non-bonding electrons and they form 12 lone pairs in the CCl4 compound.

This takes us to the conclusion that there are 6 valence electrons on each of the Chlorine atoms after bonds are formed.

Look at the diagram below to get a visual representation of what we just learned.

ccl4 lewis structure

Moving to the next section, we will be learning about the hybridization of CCl4


CCl4 Hybridization

Hybridization is a very common term and concept when we learn about the bonding in compounds.

You cannot complete your understanding of a compound if you are not thorough with the basic concept and idea of hybridization.

Hybridization in simple terms means the distribution of electrons in different energy orbitals to get an idea about the compound and its properties.

During hybridization, the properties of the compound can be altered minutely or drastically depending on the compound and conditions.

In what state of hybridization the compound is present, can be found by knowing its Steric number.

The steric number can be calculated by adding lone pairs of electrons on the central atom and the number of atoms directly bonded to the central atom.

By looking at the structure you can easily see that the number of lone pairs on Carbon is 0.

And the number of atoms that are bonded to carbon atoms is 4.

Therefore, the Steric Number is =0+4 =4.

These electrons can be distributed in different orbitals in the following way,

S orbital = 1 Valence electron pair.

Px orbital = 1 Valence electron pair.

Py orbital = 1 Valence electron pair.

Pz orbital = 1 Valence electron pair.

This takes us to the conclusion that the hybridization of CCl4 is sp3.

The below diagram shows the same concept in a clearer way, take a look.

CCl4 Hybridization

CCl4 Molecular Geometry

Once we know the hybridization of any compound we can easily understand its molecular geometry.

Here is how we can find out the geometry of CCl4.

The central atom of this compound is Carbon.

Carbon is bonded to 4 Chlorine atoms.

The Carbon atom takes a central place and the rest Chlorine atoms are placed around it.

Four bonded pairs make the geometry of CCl4 to be Tetrahedral.

All the lone pairs of electrons that exist in the compound are repulsive in nature. These electrons get spread in the plane and due to that a bond angle is formed between two atoms.

As shown in the above picture, the bond angle between two Chlorine atoms is 109 degrees 28′. Due to this repulsion and forming of bond angle, the compound takes a shape.

In this case, the compound of CCl4 takes a tetrahedral shape.

CCl4 Geometry

This is all about the Hybridization of CCl4.

Now, let us move to another important aspect of the compound, its polarity.


Polarity of CCl4

The polarity of any compound depends on its molecular geometry.

As we have seen the molecular geometry of CCl4 let’s take a look at what is its polarity.

There is some dipole moment between the bonding and non-bonding pairs when they are arranged in a plane.

In the case of CCl4, there is a symmetric distribution of electrons due to which there is no dipole moment. There exists no polarization of charge across the entire molecule.

And when there is no dipole moment, the polarity is zero. For specific detailed information, you can refer to the polarity of CCl4.


MO Diagram of CCl4

A MO diagram is nothing but a representation of bonds that are formed within the atoms to form a compound.

This diagram is based on Molecular orbital theory.

With the help of a MO diagram, the existence of certain compounds can be explained. Here is the pictorial representation of how CCl4’s and CH4 MO diagram looks like.

CCl4 MO Diagram

We hope that you get a clear picture of CCL4’s MO diagram and how the bonds exist within the compound.


Application of CCl4

Here are some of the applications of CCl4 that you should know about:

  1. Used in the production of refrigeration fluid.
  2. Used in propellants for aerosol cans.
  3. CCl4 is used as a pesticide.
  4. It is also used as a cleansing agent.
  5. Used as a solvent for oils, fats, lacquers, varnishes, rubber waxes, etc.


In a Nutshell

After learning in detail about the compound CCl4, let’s quickly sum up what we have read so far. The compound CCl4 is non-polar in nature due to its symmetric alignment.

CCl4 is a colorless liquid in nature with a slight sweetish smell.

The compound can be toxic to human skin and can cause major harm if exposed to humans in large quantities.

The number of valence electrons in CCl4 is 32. Out of these 32 valence electrons, 4 participate in bond formation and 28 are non-bonding electrons. The hybridization of CCl4 is sp3.

This helps us to understand the geometry of CCl4 which is tetrahedral. The bond angle between the atoms is somewhere around 109 degrees.

This is all about the compound CCl4, its Lewis structure, hybridization, molecular geometry, polarity, applications, and MO diagram.

We hope that this article was insightful enough and you got the basic idea about this interesting compound.
In case you have any doubts regarding the article, please feel free to reach out to our team.

Thanks for reading.

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