If the symbol X represents a central atom, Y outer atoms, and Z lone pairs on the central atom, the structure #Y- :X: -Y# could be abbreviated as #XY_2Z_2#. How would you classify these structures by the hybridization of the central atom?

1 Answer
Dec 6, 2016

Answer:

The hybridization about the central atom #X# would be #sp^3# hybridization.

Explanation:

Two lone pair on the central and two species bonded to the central atom in the species would constitute tetrahedral electronic structure and bent molecular geometry , with bond angles less than #109.5# degrees.

There are 4 electron clouds around the central atom, so the hybridization is #sp^3#.

A similar species #Y-X-Y# with no lone pair about the species would have #sp# hybridization.

Let #s# = the number of #sigma# bond about the species.
Count the #sigma# bonds about the species (including dative bonds) and subtract one to attain the #sp^s# hybridization.

In other words: #sp^(s-1)# for #s##sigma# bonds. Factor in any lone pair about the central atom.

Keep in mind for a species with a greater number of electron (larger atoms), we will have to start to consider the #d# orbitals, especially those species which can become hypervalent which occur after the #n=2# shell.