Sulfur Difluoride (SF2): Lewis structure, Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, Properties, and Uses


Introduction Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

Sulfur Difluoride (SF2) is an inorganic molecule. It consists of one Sulphur atom and two Fluorine atoms. Sulfur Difluoride has a chemical formula of SF2.

It is a volatile compound with a molar mass of 70.062 g/mol.

It is generated by the chemical reaction of sulfur dichloride and potassium fluoride.

SCl2 + 2 KF → SF2 + 2 KCl

It can also be formed by the reaction of Oxygen difluoride and hydrogen sulfide:

OF2 + H2S → SF2 + H2O

Sulfur difluoride is not a toxic compound. So, there is no need for special handling while using it.

This article will discuss how to draw the Lewis dot structure of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2), its molecular geometry, hybridization, bond angle, uses, and shape.

Molecule name Sulfur difluoride
Chemical formula SF2
valance electrons 20
Bond angle 98o
hybridization Sp3
Molecular geometry bent
Dipole moment 0.52D
Nature of SF2 polar

Lewis Dot Structure of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

Lewis structure of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

Lewis structure is also called dot and cross structure. The Lewis dot structure of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2) contains two single bonds. In the Lewis dot structure of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2), Sulphur contains two lone pairs of electrons while each fluorine contains three lone pairs of electrons.

Importance of Lewis Structure

Lewis structure is the pictorial representation of bond formation in a molecule. It helps us to know about the valance electrons and the arrangement of atoms in the molecule.

Steps to Draw the Lewis Dot Structure of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

There are the following steps to draw the Lewis structure of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

1. Count valance electrons

Valance electrons of the sulfur atom

Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

sulfur is an element of group 6 in the periodic table. The Atomic Number of sulfur is= 6                            

You can see in the image; that sulfur has 6 valence electrons

Valance electrons of fluorine atom

Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

fluorine is an element of group 7 in the periodic table.              

You can see in the image; that fluorine has a 7-valance electron.

Total Valance Electrons in Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

Now, you can find the total number of valence electrons by adding up the valence electrons of all three atoms:

Valence electrons of one sulfur atom=6

valence electrons of one fluorine atom=7

valance electron of one fluorine atom = 7

Total valence electrons in SF 2 = 6+7+7=20

2. Determine the Central atom of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

As per the rule;

The Atom with the least electronegative value should be the central atom of the molecule. sulfur has less electronegative value than fluorine. So, sulfur will be the central atom of the molecule. And fluorine atoms should place in an outside position of the molecule.


3. Put electron pairs between the atoms to form a chemical bond

When you put one electron pair between Sulfur and fluorine and one electron pair between sulfur and other fluorine. A chemical bond is formed between them. Now the SF2 molecule has the following structure.

This shows that all these atoms are chemically joined with each other in the Sulfur Difluoride (SF2) molecule.

4. Complete the octet or duplet of atoms (stabilize the atoms)

In the above structure of the Sulfur Difluoride (SF2) molecule, you can see that fluorine has two valance electrons. Now you have to complete the octet of fluorine by putting three lone pairs on each fluorine atom.

Each fluorine has 8 electrons in its outer shell. Thus, it is stable.

Total valance electrons in the Sulfur Difluoride (SF2) molecule are twenty. We have used only 16 electrons. The remaining four electrons are placed on the central atom i.e., sulfur.

Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

5. Check the stability by calculating the formal charge

We can calculate the formal charge on an atom by the following formula;

Formal charge = valance electrons -nonbonding electrons -bonding electrons/2

Fluorine atom
Valence electron = 7
Bonding electrons = 2
Nonbonding electrons = 6

 Nitrogen atom
Valence electrons = 6
Bonding electrons = 4

Nonbonding electrons = 4

Atom  = Valence electrons (Bonding electrons)/2 Nonbonding electrons = Formal charge
F = 7 2/2 6 = 0
S = 6 4/2 4 = 0

You can see in the table that each atom in SF2 has zero formal charges. It means that there is no need for change in the structure of sf2.

In the Sulfur Difluoride (SF2) molecule, each bond pair represent a bond. Two lone pairs of electrons present on the Sulphur atom remain the same. They do not involve in bond formation. So, the given structure is the final Lewis structure for the sulfur Difluoride (SF2) molecule.


Hybridization of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

Lewis dot structure of SF2 molecule consists of one sulfur atom and two fluorine atoms. Sulfur contains six electrons while each fluorine contains 7 electrons.

In the SF2 Lewis structure, both sulfur and fluorine are SP3 hybridized in sf2 molecules.

  • In the SF2 Lewis structure, we can find hybridization by the steric number of the central atom sulfur.
  • The steric number is one of the methods which is used to find hybridization and its formula is

Steric number = Lone pair on central atom + no. of atoms attached with the central atom.

In the case of SF2 Lewis structure, the steric number is = 2 + 2 = 4

According to that Lewis’s structure of SF2 has four (4) hybrid orbitals. So, SF2 has sp3 hybridization.

Molecular Geometry and Shape of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

A molecule’s molecular geometry helps us understand the three-dimensional structure, arrangement of atoms in a molecule, and shape. If we know the molecular geometry of a molecule. Then, it would be easy to study a molecule’s reactivity, polarity, and biological activity.

SF2 molecule has three atoms, i.e., one sulfur and two fluorine atoms. Two lone pairs of electrons are present on the sulfur atom. According to VSEPR theory, the lone pair repels the other bond pair. Thus, bent geometry is formed.

Determine the Geometry by VSEPR Theory

Valance shell electron pair repulsion theory is used to determine the molecular geometry of a molecule. This theory explains that the valance electrons pair surround the atom and arrange themselves in such a way that they face the least repulsion from each other. VESPER theory explains geometry in the form of AXE notation.

The AXE notation is used to determine the molecular geometry of a molecule.

In AXE notation

  • ‘A’ denotes the central atom in a molecule
  • ‘X’ denotes atoms connected to the central atom, and
  • ‘E’ denotes the number of lone pairs present on the central atom.

In Sulfur Difluoride (SF2) molecule

  • ‘A’ stands for sulfur
  • ‘X’ stands for two atoms i.e., two fluorine atoms and
  • ‘E’ stands for two because two lone pairs of electrons are present on the sulfur atom in the sf2 molecule

SF2 molecule contains the AX2E2 type of notation. Thus, has bent geometry.

The bent structure is achieved due to the presence of lone pairs of electrons and bonds in the central atom. Hence there are repulsions and these repulsive forces lead to bent geometries.

The Bond Angle of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

bond angle Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

As the Lewis structure of the sf2 molecule has tetrahedral Bent geometry, the bond angle in the sf2 molecule is 98o.      

Polar Nature of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2) Molecule

Polarity is defined as the distribution of charge over the atom joined by a bond within a molecule. The charge appears on an atom due to the electronegativity difference. The bond will be polar when the electronegativity difference is more than 0.4.

To determine the polarity of a molecule, we consider the following factors:

  • Presence of lone pairs in a molecule
  • Molecular shape
  • the difference in electronegativities of atoms
  • Net Dipole moment of the molecule

Sulfur Difluoride SF2 has a bent molecular structure having two single bonds and two lone pairs of electrons.

These lone pairs of electrons disturb the shape of the molecule and form a nonlinear shape. Thus, the charges will not be evenly distributed, and chances for the polarity of a molecule will increase.

When we compare the electronegativity difference of Sulphur and Fluorine the value of electronegativity of Sulphur is 2.58 and for Fluorine is 3.98.

Thus, the bond will be polar as the electronegativity difference is greater than 0.4.

If we talk about the dipole moment between Sulphur and Fluorine atoms. Due to the vast electronegativity difference, the dipole moment will be from the Sulphur atom to the Fluorine atom,

Thus, the molecule has a non-zero net dipole moment, making SF2 a polar molecule.

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Properties of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2)

  • Sulfuryl fluoride is an odorless and colorless gas.
  • Sulfur difluoride is an inorganic covalent compound with the chemical name SF2.
  • The melting point of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2) is −135.82°C.
  • The boiling point of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2) is  −55.38°C.
  • The vapor pressure of SF2 is 1.3 × 104torr at 25°C.
  • The solubility of SF2 in water is 0.75 g/kg at 25°C.
  • Sulfuryl fluoride is slightly soluble in most organic solvents but is miscible with methyl bromide.

Uses of Sulfur Difluoride (SF2 

  • Used in laboratories.
  • Used as targets and substrates in the development of new synthetic methods.
  • Also used as an electrophilic warhead by both medicinal chemists and chemical biologists.
  • SF2 is a synthetic fiber and fluid road stabilization system that improves compressive strength, CBR, cut resistance, and adhesion of the material


To summarize this article, we can say that,

  • Lewis structure of sulfur difluoride (SF2) has a Sulphur atom in the centre.
  • Sulfur forms single bonds with both the Fluorine atoms.
  • Two lone pairs of electrons are present on the Sulphur atom which makes the geometry of the molecule bent.
  • The sf2 molecule has sp3 Hybridization.
  • The bond angle of F-S-F is 98 degrees.
  • The total valence electrons of SF2 are 20.
  • SF2 is a polar molecule as there is a net dipole moment in the molecule.
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Is sulfur Difluoride (SF2) an ionic or covalent compound?

Sulfur difluoride is a compound consisting of sulfur and fluorine atoms. Both of these elements are near the right side of the periodic table. There is no significant difference in their electronegativity values. Therefore, it is classified as a covalent compound because they share a pair of valence electrons.

What is the bond angle for SF2?

The angle that forms in SF2 is around 98 degrees.
Both Fluorine atoms are pushed downwards by two lone pairs present on the sulfur atom, therefore, the bond angle varies between 180 degrees to 98 degrees.

How many valence electrons does SF2 have?

Sulfur has 6 valance electrons while each fluorine has 7 valance electrons. So, the total number of valence electrons in Sulfur Difluoride (SF2) is 20.


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