The C-O-H bond angle in alcohol is slightly less than the tetrahedral angle whereas the C-O-C bond angle in ethers is slightly greater. Why?

Asked by Aswin | 9th Jan, 2016, 04:37: PM

Expert Answer:

Both C-O-H and C-O-C bond angles in alcohols and ethers respectively are sp3 hybridised.

In both the cases, oxygen atoms contain two bond pairs and two lone pairs of electrons and are oriented in a tetrahedral shape around the oxygen atom.

The C-O-H bond angle in alcohols is slightly less than the tetrahedral angle because of the repulsion between the two lone pairs of electrons on oxygen atoms as these pairs pushes the C-O bonds closer to each other.

In case of ethers, the oxygen atom is surrounded by bulky alkyl groups, hence repulsion between these R groups pushes the two C-O bonds away from each other and hence the bond angle is slightly greater than the tetrahedral angle.

Answered by Prachi Sawant | 10th Jan, 2016, 03:22: PM