plz explain d HYBRIDISATION concept in organic chemistry..

Asked by  | 30th Mar, 2008, 01:00: PM

Expert Answer:

Hybridization of Atomic Orbitals and the Shape of Molecules

If the four hydrogen atoms in a methane molecule (CH4) were bound to the three 2p orbitals and the 2s orbital of the carbon atom, the H-C-H bond angles would be 90o for 3 of the hydrogen atoms and the 4th hydrogen atom would be at 135o from the others. Experimental evidence has shown that the bond angles in methane are not arranged that way but are 109.5o giving the overall shape of a tetrahedron. The tetrahedral structure makes much more sense in that hydrogen atoms would naturally repel each other due to their negative electron clouds and form this shape. If you think electron-electron repulsion isn't significant, try walking through a wall! There is plenty of space for your nuclei to pass through the nuclei of the wall material but ouch, it just doesn't work that way.

Experimental evidence has also shown that the H-N-H bond angles in ammonia (NH3) are 107o and the H-O-H bond angles in water are 105o. It is clear from these bond angles that the non-bonding pairs of electrons occupy a reasonable amount of space and are pushing the hydrogen atoms closer together compared to the angles found in methane.

The valence shell electron-pair repulsion model (VESPR) was devised to account for these molecular shapes. In this model, atoms and pairs of electrons will be arranged to minimize the repulsion of these atoms and pairs of electrons. Since the non-bonded electron pairs are held somewhat closer to the nucleus than the attached hydrogen atoms, they tend to crowd the hydrogen atoms. Thus ammonia exists as a distorted tetrahedron (trigonal pyramidal) rather than a trigonal plane and water also exists as a distorted tetrahedron (bent) rather than a linear molecule with the hydrogen atoms at a 180o bond angle.

This concept proposes that since the attached groups are not at the angles of the p orbitals and their atomic orbitals would not have maximum overlap (to form strong bonds) the s and p orbitals will be hybridized to match the bond angles of the attached groups.

The number of these new hybrid orbitals must be equal to the numbers of atoms and non-bonded electron pairs surrounding the central atom!

This valence shell repulsion model can be illustrated at home with a very fun experiment!

In the case of methane, the three 2p orbitals of the carbon atom are combined with its 2s orbital to form four new orbitals called "sp3" hybrid orbitals. The name is simply a tally of all the orbitals that were blended together to form these new hybrid orbitals. Four hybrid orbitals were required since there are four atoms attached to the central carbon atom. These new orbitals will have an energy slightly above the 2s orbital and below the 2p orbitals as shown in the following illustration. Notice that no change occurred with the 1s orbital.


These hybrid orbitals have 75% p-character and 25% s-character which gives them a shape that is shorter and fatter than a p-orbital.

A stick and wedge drawing of methane shows the tetrahedral angles...(The wedge is coming out of the paper and the dashed line is going behind the paper. The solid lines are in the plane of the paper.)

In the case of ammonia, the three 2p orbitals of the nitrogen atom are combined with the 2s orbital to form four sp3 hybrid

Answered by  | 14th May, 2008, 06:39: PM

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