Question
Thu April 14, 2011 By: Theodosia Lourdes

Explain all the limitations of the octet rule with examples.

Expert Reply
Thu April 14, 2011
Though the octet rule is very useful, it is not universal. It is quite useful for understanding the structures of most of the compounds. This rule applies mainly to the second period elements of the periodic table. There are three types of exceptions to the octet rule. 

The incomplete octet of the central atom In some compounds, the number of electrons surrounding the central atom is less than eight. This is especially the case with elements having less than four valence electrons. Examples are LiCl, BeH2 and BCl3.
In molecules with an odd number of electrons like nitric oxide, NO and nitrogen dioxide, NO2, the octet rule is not satisfied for all the atoms.
In a number of compounds of thir period elements there are more than eight valence electrons around the central atom. This is termed as the expanded octet. Obviously the octet rule does not apply in such cases. Examples of such compounds are SF6, H2SO4, etc.
 
 As per the octet rule which is based upon the chemical inertness of noble gases, these elements are inert and should not form further bonds. However, some noble gases (for example xenon and krypton) also combine with oxygen and fluorine to form a number of compounds like XeF2, KrF2, XeOF2 etc., 
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