What is hybridization in organic chemistry?

2 Answers
Oct 5, 2016

hybridization is the combining of different types of orbitals


The hybridization of different types of orbitals allows the the atom to form more bonds and bonds that are more equal. This results in a more stable molecule.

Nov 16, 2016

Hybridization is the mixing of atomic orbitals to form new orbitals with different energies and shapes than the original orbitals.


Hybrid orbitals are mixtures of atomic orbitals in various proportions.

For example, the hybrid orbitals on the #"C"# atom of methane consist of one-fourth #"s"# character and three-fourths #"p"# character.

We say they are #"sp"^3# ("s-p-three") hybridized.


The four new hybridized orbitals have both #"s"# and #"p"# character.

The dumbbell shape reflects the #"p"# character and (despite the picture) the big lobe is nearly spherical like an #"s"# orbital.

The new orbitals all have the same energy but they point in different directions (towards the corners of a tetrahedron).

This leads to the most stable molecules when the #"C"# atom forms bonds to four other atoms.