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During the review session on Friday, the final Lewis structure for ClO4- had double bonds between 3 of the oxygens and Cl but a single bond for one of the oxygens. Why is that and what does it have to do with formal charge?
One of the oxygens needs to have a single bond in order for the entire molecule to have an overall negative charge since the molecule is ClO4-. The single bond is given to the oxygen so that oxygen would have the negative formal charge. Recall that oxygen is more electronegative than chlorine, and that structures are more stable when the most electronegative atom has the negative formal charge.
In the case of ClO4-, the lowest energy Lewis structure must have one atom with a formal charge of -1. Because O is more electronegative than Cl, it is more stable when the O has the negative formal charge. Therefore, 3 Cl-O double bonds and 1 Cl-O single bond is the best lewis structure.
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