Sulfur Dioxide - Structure and Bonding

Structure and Bonding

SO2 is a bent molecule with C2v symmetry point group. In terms of electron-counting formalism, the sulfur atom has an oxidation state of +4 and a formal charge of +1.

Sulfur and oxygen both have six valence electrons and the molecular bonds in SO2 are shown to be the same as those in ozone. Computational chemistry (using Natural bond orbitals) has found that d-orbitals are not involved in main group chemical bonding (see Hypervalent molecule). Hence, a Lewis structure consisting of 2 S–O sigma bonds and a Three-center four-electron pi bond linking the O–S–O chain is the optimum description, resulting in a bond order of 1.5, like the O–O bonds in ozone.

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