To usage the VSEPR model to predict molecular geometries. Come predict even if it is a molecule has actually a dipole moment.

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The Lewis electron-pair approach can be used to suspect the number and varieties of bonds between the atoms in a substance, and also it indicates which atoms have actually lone bag of electrons. This approach gives no information around the actual arrangement of atom in space, however. We proceed our conversation of structure and bonding by presenting the valence-shell electron-pair repulsion (VSEPR) version (pronounced “vesper”), which have the right to be provided to predict the forms of many molecules and polyatomic ions. Store in mind, however, the the VSEPR model, like any model, is a restricted representation that reality; the model gives no information around bond lengths or the visibility of many bonds.

The VSEPR Model

The VSEPR model can predict the structure of nearly any molecule or polyatomic ion in i beg your pardon the central atom is a nonmetal, as well as the frameworks of many molecules and polyatomic ions v a main metal atom. The premise that the VSEPR theory is that electron pairs situated in bonds and lone bag repel each other and will therefore take on the geometry that places electron pairs as much apart native each various other as possible. This theory is very simplistic and does no account for the subtleties of orbital interactions that affect molecular shapes; however, the an easy VSEPR counting procedure correctly predicts the three-dimensional frameworks of a large number the compounds, which can not be predicted making use of the Lewis electron-pair approach.

Figure \(\PageIndex1\): usual Structures because that Molecules and also Polyatomic ions That consists a main Atom external inspection to two or Three other Atoms. (CC BY-NC-SA; anonymous)

We can use the VSEPR version to suspect the geometry of many polyatomic molecules and ions by focusing only on the number of electron pairs approximately the central atom, skipping all other valence electrons present. Follow to this model, valence electron in the Lewis structure kind groups, which may consist that a single bond, a double bond, a triple bond, a lone pair of electrons, or also a solitary unpaired electron, i m sorry in the VSEPR version is counted together a lone pair. Because electrons repel each various other electrostatically, the many stable setup of electron groups (i.e., the one through the lowest energy) is the one the minimizes repulsions. Teams are positioned around the main atom in a means that produce the molecular structure with the shortest energy, as shown in numbers \(\PageIndex1\) and also \(\PageIndex2\).

Figure \(\PageIndex2\): Electron Geometries for species with 2 to six Electron Groups. Groups are placed roughly the main atom in a method that produces a molecular framework with the lowest energy, that is, the one that minimizes repulsions.(CC BY-NC-SA; anonymous)

In the VSEPR model, the molecule or polyatomic ion is provided an AXmEn designation, wherein A is the main atom, X is a external inspection atom, E is a nonbonding valence electron group (usually a lone pair of electrons), and also m and n are integers. Each group approximately the central atom is designated together a bonding pair (BP) or lone (nonbonding) pair (LP). Indigenous the BP and LP interactions we deserve to predict both the loved one positions that the atoms and the angles between the bonds, referred to as the shortcut angles. Using this information, us can define the molecule geometry, the arrangement of the bonded atoms in a molecule or polyatomic ion.

We will highlight the usage of this procedure with several examples, beginning with atoms v two electron groups. In our discussion we will refer to number \(\PageIndex2\) and also Figure \(\PageIndex3\), which summarize the common molecular geometries and also idealized bond angle of molecules and ions v two to 6 electron groups.

Figure \(\PageIndex3\): usual Molecular Geometries for types with 2 to 6 Electron Groups. Lone bag are presented using a dashed line.(CC BY-NC-SA; anonymous)

Two Electron Groups

Our first example is a molecule with two bonded atoms and no lone pairs of electrons, \(BeH_2\).

AX2 Molecules: BeH2

1. The main atom, beryllium, contributes two valence electrons, and also each hydrogen atom contributes one. The Lewis electron framework is

Figure \(\PageIndex2\) the the setup that minimizes repulsions locations the groups 180° apart.(CC BY-NC-SA; anonymous)

3. Both groups around the main atom are bonding bag (BP). For this reason BeH2 is designated together AX2.

4. From figure \(\PageIndex3\) we see that with two bonding pairs, the molecule geometry the minimizes repulsions in BeH2 is linear.


Three Electron Groups

AX3 Molecules: BCl3

1. The central atom, boron, contributes three valence electrons, and also each chlorine atom contributes seven valence electrons. The Lewis electron structure is

Figure \(\PageIndex2\)):(CC BY-NC-SA; anonymous)

3. All electron teams are bonding pairs (BP), so the framework is designated as AX3.

4. From figure \(\PageIndex3\) we see that with three bonding pairs roughly the main atom, the molecule geometry that BCl3 is trigonal planar, as displayed in number \(\PageIndex2\).

AX3 Molecules: CO32−

1. The main atom, carbon, has four valence electrons, and each oxygen atom has actually six valence electrons. Together you learned previously, the Lewis electron structure of among three resonance creates is stood for as

Figure \(\PageIndex2\)).

3. All electron groups are bonding pairs (BP). With 3 bonding groups roughly the main atom, the structure is designated as AX3.

4. We watch from number \(\PageIndex3\) the the molecule geometry of CO32− is trigonal planar v bond angle of 120°.

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3. There room two bonding pairs and also one lone pair, so the structure is designated together AX2E. This designation has actually a full of three electron pairs, 2 X and one E. Since a lone pair is not mutual by 2 nuclei, it occupies much more space near the main atom than a bonding pair (Figure \(\PageIndex4\)). Therefore bonding pairs and lone bag repel each other electrostatically in the stimulate BP–BP 2, we have one BP–BP interaction and two LP–BP interactions.

4. The molecular geometry is explained only by the location of the nuclei, not by the positions of the lone pairs. Thus with two nuclei and one lone pair the form is bent, or V shaped, which can be viewed as a trigonal planar plan with a lacking vertex (Figures \(\PageIndex2\) and also \(\PageIndex3\)). The O-S-O bond angle is supposed to it is in less than 120° due to the fact that of the extra space taken up by the lone pair.

Figure \(\PageIndex4\): The difference in the an are Occupied by a Lone Pair of Electrons and by a Bonding Pair.(CC BY-NC-SA; anonymous)

As v SO2, this composite version of electron distribution and an adverse electrostatic potential in ammonia shows that a lone pair of electrons rectal a larger an ar of room around the nitrogen atom 보다 does a bonding pair the electrons the is shared with a hydrogen atom.

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Four Electron Groups

One of the restrictions of Lewis structures is the they depict molecules and ions in just two dimensions. With four electron groups, we must find out to display molecules and ions in 3 dimensions.

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2. Over there are 4 electron groups roughly the central atom. As displayed in number \(\PageIndex2\), repulsions are reduced by placing the teams in the corners that a tetrahedron with bond angle of 109.5°.

3. Every electron teams are bonding pairs, for this reason the structure is designated as AX4.

4. With four bonding pairs, the molecule geometry that methane is tetrahedral (Figure \(\PageIndex3\)).

2. Over there are four electron groups approximately nitrogen, three bonding pairs and one lone pair. Repulsions are reduced by directing every hydrogen atom and the lone pair come the corners the a tetrahedron.

3. With 3 bonding pairs and also one lone pair, the structure is designated as AX3E. This designation has a complete of 4 electron pairs, three X and one E. We mean the LP–BP interactions to reason the bonding pair angle to deviate significantly from the angle of a perfect tetrahedron.

4. There space three nuclei and also one lone pair, therefore the molecular geometry is trigonal pyramidal. In essence, this is a tetrahedron v a vertex lacking (Figure \(\PageIndex3\)). However, the H–N–H bond angles are less than the right angle that 109.5° since of LP–BP repulsions (Figure \(\PageIndex3\) and Figure \(\PageIndex4\)).

AX2E2 Molecules: H2O

1. Oxygen has actually six valence electrons and each hydrogen has one valence electron, producing the Lewis electron structure


Five Electron Groups

In previous examples it did not matter where we inserted the electron groups since all positions to be equivalent. In part cases, however, the positions room not equivalent. We encounter this instance for the very first time with five electron groups.

AX5 Molecules: PCl5

1. Phosphorus has 5 valence electrons and each chlorine has seven valence electrons, so the Lewis electron structure of PCl5 is


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Once again, we have a compound that is an exception to the octet rule.

2. Over there are five groups about the central atom, three bonding pairs and also two lone pairs. Us again straight the teams toward the vertices the a trigonal bipyramid.

3. With three bonding pairs and two lone pairs, the structural designation is AX3E2 with a full of 5 electron pairs. Since the axial and also equatorial positions room not equivalent, we have to decide how to species the teams to minimize repulsions. If we ar both lone pairs in the axial positions, we have six LP–BP repulsions in ~ 90°. If both room in the equatorial positions, us have 4 LP–BP repulsions in ~ 90°. If one lone pair is axial and the other equatorial, we have actually one LP–LP repulsion at 90° and also three LP–BP repulsions in ~ 90°:

2. Over there are 5 electron groups about the central atom in I3−, two bonding pairs and also three lone pairs. To minimization repulsions, the groups are command to the corners the a trigonal bipyramid.

3. V two bonding pairs and three lone pairs, I3− has a full of five electron pairs and also is designated as AX2E3. We must now decide how to kinds the lone pairs of electrons in a trigonal bipyramid in a method that minimizes repulsions. Placing them in the axial location eliminates 90° LP–LP repulsions and minimizes the variety of 90° LP–BP repulsions.


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AX5E Molecules: BrF5

1. The main atom, bromine, has seven valence electrons, together does each fluorine, for this reason the Lewis electron structure is

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AX4E2 Molecules: ICl4−

1. The central atom, iodine, contributes seven electrons. Each chlorine contributes seven, and there is a single negative charge. The Lewis electron framework is

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Figure \(\PageIndex6\): Overview of molecule Geometries

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C every electron groups are bonding pairs, therefore PF5 is designated together AX5. Notification that this provides a full of 5 electron pairs. Through no lone pair repulsions, we execute not expect any bond angles to deviate native the ideal.

See more: In The Formula =If(A1=B1, C1, C2), The Result Will Be C2 If ____.

D The PF5 molecule has 5 nuclei and no lone bag of electrons, so its molecular geometry is trigonal bipyramidal.