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QUESTION

# What is the formal charge of carbon atom in the lewis structure of carbonyl sulfide (OCS)?

To a first approx. the Lewis structure of carbonyl sulfide is the same as that of carbon dioxide. The formal charge of C is thus ZERO.

Given an O=C=O, or S=C=O Lewis structure, there are 8 bonding electrons around carbon, 4 of which this atom claims. And thus with 2 inner core electrons, the 6 electrons balance the nuclear charge to give a neutral carbon centre. Of course all the atoms in this molecule are formally neutral.

The C=S bond length is approx. 1.6xx10^-10*m, the which is shorter than a regular C-S bond, approx. 1.8xx10^-10*m.