What is the angle between the carbon-chlorine bonds in the phosgene (#COCl_2#), molecule?

1 Answer
Nov 24, 2016

Answer:

#/_O-C-Cl# #~=# #120^@#

The central carbon is #sp_2-"hybridized........"#

Explanation:

And thus #/_Cl-C-Cl# and #/_O-C-Cl# #~=# are #120^@# to a first approximation.

Why this value? We look to #"VSEPR theory"#. There are 3 regions of electron density around the central carbon, and the most stable geometry is a trigonal plane. While there is a #"carbonyl"# group, i.e. a #C=O# bond, the #pi# bond is conceived to lie above and below this trigonal plane.

The #"carbonyl oxygen"# is likewise conceived to be #sp_2"-hybridized"#, however, here, there are 2 lone pairs on the oxygen centre.