Dichloromethane (CH2Cl2) Lewis dot structure, molecular geometry, bond angle, hybridization

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ch2cl2 lewis structure molecular geometry

Dichloromethane is a colorless and volatile liquid, it has a faint or chloroform-like odor. Its chemical formula is CH2Cl2.

In this article, we will discuss CH2Cl2 lewis structure, molecular geometry or shape, bond angle, polar or nonpolar, its hybridization, etc.

It is soluble in many organic solvents such as hexanes, ethyl acetate, chloroform, etc. but not soluble in water.

Name of MoleculeDichloromethane
Chemical formulaCH2Cl2
Molecular geometry or shape of CH2Cl2Tetrahedral
Electron geometry of CH2Cl2Tetrahedral 
Bond angle∠Cl-C-H = 108º, ∠H-C-H = 112º, ∠Cl-C-Cl = 112.2º
NatureSlightly Polar molecule
Total Valence electron for CH2Cl220

How to draw lewis structure of CH2Cl2?

CH2Cl2 Lewis structure is made up of one carbon (C) atom, two hydrogens (H), and two chlorine (Cl) atoms. The carbon (C) atom is kept at the central position and other atoms are at the surrounding position. The lewis structure of CH2Cl2 contains 4 single bonds in the form of two C-H bonds and two C-Cl bonds.

The drawing process of the lewis structure of CH2Cl2 is easy and simple. Let’s see how to do it.

Follow some steps for drawing the Lewis dot structure for CH2Cl2 

1. Count total valence electron in CH2Cl2

In the very first step, we will count the total valence electron in the CH2Cl2 molecule. To calculate the valence electron, look at the periodic group of the individual atoms – carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine.

The chlorine atom belongs to the periodic group 7A or 17th in the periodic table, hence, the valence electron for the chlorine atom is 7.

The carbon atom is situated in the 14 or 4A periodic group, hence, its valence electron is 4. The hydrogen atom has only one valence electron.

⇒ Valence electron in hydrogen atom = 1

Valence electron in chlorine atom = 7

Valence electron in carbon atom = 4

∴ Total number of valence electrons available for the CH2Cl2 Lewis structure = 4 + 1(2) + 7(2) = 20 valence electrons         [∴ CH2Cl2 molecule has one carbon, two hydrogen, and two chlorine atoms]

valence electrons in ch2cl2 lewis structure

2. Find the least electronegative atom and place it at center

Now we will find the least electronegative atom in the CH2Cl2 compound, after that, we will place it at the center of the lewis diagram and the rest atoms will be spread around it.

The electronegativity value of the carbon atom is 2.55, for a chlorine atom, it is 3.16.

“Hydrogen atoms always go on the outside of a Lewis Structure”.

Hence, the carbon atom is the least electronegative atom in the CH2Cl2 compound, therefore, we will put the carbon atom in a central position and (the chlorine and hydrogen atoms) in the surrounding position in the lewis diagram.

central atom in ch2cl2

3. Connect outer atoms to the central atom with a single bond

In this step, we simply connect each outer atom(chlorine and hydrogen) to the central atom(carbon) with the help of a single bond.

ch2cl2 skeletal structure

Now count the valence electron used in the above structure. A single bond means two electrons, in the above structure, four single bonds are used for connecting the two chlorine and two hydrogens atoms to the carbon central atom.

Therefore, (4 single bonds × 2) = 8 valence electrons are used in the above structure from the total of 20 valence electrons available for drawing the lewis structure of CH2Cl2.

∴ (20 – 8) = 12 valence electrons

So, we are left with 12 valence electrons.

4. Place remaining electrons on outer atoms and complete their octet

In this step, we will put the remaining valence electron on the outer atom first for completing their octet. In a CH2Cl2 molecule, the outer atom is hydrogen and chlorine.

⇒ Hydrogen atoms only need two valence electrons to fulfill the outer shell.

⇒ A chlorine atom needs 8 electrons to complete the outer shell.

CH2CL2 lewis dot structure

As you see in the above figure, we have placed the 6 electrons represented as dots around both chlorine atoms.

∴ Chlorine atoms completed their octet since they have 8 electrons(6 electrons represented as dots + 2 electrons in a single bond).

∴ Hydrogen atoms already completed their octet since they are joined with one single bond means 2 electrons and remember, hydrogen only needs 2 electrons to have a full outer shell.

Now once again count the total valence electron in the above structure.

(4 single bond × 2 electrons + 12 electrons represented as dots) = 20 valence electrons are used in the above structure.

Remember, we had a total of 20 valence electrons available for drawing the lewis structure of CH2Cl2, and in the above structure, we used all valence electrons.

Also, the Carbon central atom has completed its octet as well since it has connected with 4 single bonds(8 electrons).

Now just check the formal charge for the above structure to know whether it is stable or not.

5. Check the stability with the help of a formal charge concept

The lesser the formal charge on atoms, the better the stability of the lewis diagram.

To calculate the formal charge on an atom. Use the formula given below-

⇒ Formal charge = (valence electrons – Nonbonding electrons –  1/2 bonding electrons)

Let’s count the formal charge on the chlorine atom first(4th step structure).

For chlorine atom:

⇒ Valence electrons of chlorine = 7

⇒ Nonbonding electrons on chlorine= 6

⇒ Bonding electrons around chlorine(1 single bond) = 2

∴ (7 – 6 – 2/2) = 0 formal charge on chlorine atoms.

For hydrogen atom:

⇒ Valence electrons of hydrogen = 1

⇒ Nonbonding electrons on hydrogen = 0

⇒ Bonding electrons around hydrogen(1 single bond) = 2

∴ (1 – 0 – 2/2) = 0 formal charge on hydrogen atoms.

 For carbon atom

⇒ Valence electrons of carbon = 4

⇒ Nonbonding electrons on carbon = 0

⇒ Bonding electrons around carbon (4 single bonds) = 8

∴ (4 – 0 – 8/2) = 0 formal charge on the carbon central atom.

Dichloromethane (CH2Cl2) lewis structure


So, all atoms in the above structure get a formal charge equal to zero, hence, this is our most stable and appropriate lewis dot structure of Dichloromethane (CH2Cl2).

Also check – 

What is the molecular geometry of CH2Cl2?

The molecular geometry of CH2Cl2 is tetrahedral. The central atom Carbon (C) is bonded with four atoms (two hydrogen and two chlorine atoms) and it has no lone pair which means, it is an AX4 type molecule, as per VSEPR theory, its geometry or shape is tetrahedral.

A represent central atom

X represent the number of bonded atom to central atom

According to VSEPR theory or chart, the AX4 type molecule forms tetrahedral molecular geometry or shape.

molecular geometry and electron geometry of ch2cl2

It should be noted that, In CH2Cl2, the carbon (C) atom has attached to four bonded atoms(2 hydrogen and 2 chlorine atoms), and it contains no lone pair which means, there are four regions of electron density around the carbon central atom.

“The VSEPR theory states that the electron regions around an atom spread out to make each region is as far from the others as possible.”

When there is no lone pair, then, central atom with four region of electron density adopt a tetrahedral structure because repulsion is minimum in electron pairs at this position.

CH2Cl2 molecular geometry or shape

So, we can say, the molecular geometry or shape for CH2Cl2 is tetrahedral and its electron geometry is also tetrahedral since all are bonding regions around the central atom with no lone pair.

Hybridization of CH2Cl2

We can calculate the hybridization of CH2Cl2 using the steric number formula given below:

steric number to calculate hybridization

Steric number = (Number of bonded atoms attached to central atom + Lone pair on central atom)

∴ Steric number of CH2Cl2 = (Number of bonded atoms attached to carbon + Lone pair on carbon atom)

As per the CH2Cl2 lewis structure, the carbon atom is bonded with four atoms(two chlorine and two hydrogens) and contains zero lone pairs.

∴ Steric number of CH2Cl2 = (4 + 0) = 4

So, for the steric number of 4, we get the hybridization of CH2Cl2 is Sp3.

The bond angle of CH2Cl2

According to the VSEPR theory, for a regular tetrahedral structure, the bonded atoms around the central atom will spread at an angle of approx 109.5° to minimize the repulsion and attains stability.

The approx bond angle in CH2Cl2 is based on the type of bond, ∠Cl-C-H = 108º, ∠H-C-H = 112º, ∠Cl-C-Cl = 112.2º.              [Check Source]

Let’s check the video to get an idea of the geometry and bond angle of CH2Cl2.

Also check:- How to find bond angle?

Is CH2Cl2 polar or nonpolar?

Is CH2Cl2 polar or non-polar? CH2Cl2 is a moderately polar molecule. The bond present in this molecule, C-Cl are polar since there is a large electronegativity difference between them.

The electronegativity of Carbon = 2.55

The electronegativity of Chlorine = 3.16

∴ The difference in electronegativity of Chlorine and Carbon = 0.61

The chlorine is more electronegative than carbon, hence, it will attract a negative charge and carbon will get a positive charge. The separation of charge between them leads to a dipole moment directed from Carbon to Chlorine.

However, the molecule (CH2Cl2) has a symmetrical shape i.e. Tetrahedral. Still, the dipole moment of the C-Cl bond will not cancel out because the C-H bonds are almost nonpolar(due to a small electronegativity difference), hence, the weak dipole of C-H bonds is unable to cancel out the strong dipole of C-Cl.

It results in some permanent dipole moment in the molecule which is 1.67 D. Therefore, we can say, the overall CH2Cl2 molecule is polar in nature.

Also check-


How many bonding pairs and lone pairs are present in the lewis structure of CH2Cl2?

Bonding pairs are the pair of electrons that are in a bond. A single bond has one bond pair means 2 bonding electrons.

Lone pairs are those represented as dots in the lewis diagram that do not take part in the formation of bonds and are also called nonbonding electrons.

By looking at the CH2Cl2 lewis structure, we see there are 4 single bonds means 4 bonding pairs, and there are 12 dots electrons around two chlorine atoms means 6 lone pairs. [∴ 2 dot electrons means one lone pair).

So, in the CH2Cl2 lewis structure, there are 6 lone pairs and 4 bonding pairs present.

lone pair and bond pair in CH2Cl2 lewis structure

What is the molecular geometry or shape of CH2Cl2?

The molecular geometry or shape of CH2Cl2 is Tetrahedral, since, there are 4 regions of electron density around the central atom, and all the regions are bonding regions. According to VSEPR theory, “four bonding regions around the central atom will adopt a tetrahedral geometry”.

It should be noted that the electron geometry of CH2Cl2 is also Tetrahedral, since, no lone pair is present on the central atom, hence, only bonding pairs are counted while evaluating the geometry of CH2Cl2.

How many valence electrons are present in the CH2Cl2 lewis structure?

⇒ Valence electron in hydrogen atom = 1

⇒ Valence electron in chlorine atom = 7

⇒ Valence electron in carbon atom = 4

∴ Total number of valence electrons available for the CH2Cl2 Lewis structure = 4 + 1(2) + 7(2) = 20 valence electrons 

Also Read:-

Reactions of CH2Cl2

Dichloromethane is directly produced by the chlorination of CH3Cl.

⇒ CH3Cl + Cl2 → CH2Cl2 + HCl

Properties and uses of CH2Cl2

  • The boiling point of CH2Cl2 is 39.6 °C  and its melting point is −96.7 °C.
  • It is a colorless liquid and has a chloroform-like odor.
  • It is not miscible with water.
  • It is non combustible and non flammable in nature.
  • It is miscible with many organic solvents.
  • It is used in the manufacturing of electronics.
  • It is used as a degreasing agent.
  • It is also used in food technology as a solvent.


  • The total valence electron available for drawing the CH2Cl2 lewis structure is 20.
  • The steric number of the carbon central atom in the CH2Cl2 molecule is 4, thus, it forms Sp3 hybridization.
  • The approx bond angle in CH2Cl2 is based on the type of bond, ∠Cl-C-H = 108º, ∠H-C-H = 112º, ∠Cl-C-Cl = 112.2º
  • CH2Cl2 is a slightly polar molecule.
  • Its dipole moment is 1.67 D.
  • The molecular geometry or shape of CH2Cl2 is tetrahedral.
  • In the CH2Cl2 lewis structure, a total of 6 lone pairs and 4 bond pairs are present.
  • The electron geometry of CH2Cl2 is also tetrahedral.

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