How do I find the electronegativity of SCL2?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The electronegativity of an atom indicates how strongly it can pull electrons towards itself when bonded with another atom. Each element has been assigned a numerical value to indicate its relative electronegativity. You can easily find the electronegativity value for each element by searching “electronegativity values of elements” on the internet or by looking in your chemistry textbook.

Electronegativity is an example of a periodic table trend. In general, electronegativity increases as you move from left to right across the periodic table and decreases as you move from top to bottom.

You can use electronegativity to predict the type of bond that will occur between two atoms as follows:

  • Step 1: Locate a table of electronegativity values in a chemistry book or on the internet.
  • Step 2: Use the table of electronegativity values to determine the electronegativity of each atom in the bond.
  • Step 3: Calculate the difference between the electronegativity values of the two atoms.

                  If the difference is > 1.7, the bond is most likely ionic.

                  If the difference is 0.4 - 1.7, the bond is most likely polar covalent.

                  If the difference is 0.0 - 0.4, the bond is most likely nonpolar covalent.


Now, let’s look at the molecule, `~SCl_2`.

  • Step 1: According to the table of electronegativity values, the electronegativity of S is 2.58 and the electronegativity of Cl is 3.16. This means that when a bond is formed between an S atom and a Cl atom, the Cl atom will pull more strongly on the electrons in the bond than the S atom.
  • Step 2: The difference between the two electronegativity values is: 3.16 – 2.58 = 0.58.
  • Step 3: Since the difference between the electronegativity values is 0.58, the bonds between the S atom and each of the Cl atoms are most likely polar covalent.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team