VSEPR Theory

The Shape of Molecules

Molecular Polarity
• • • • Polar Molecule – molecule that has a definite positive and negative end. A molecule can possess polar bonds and still be nonpolar. If the polar bonds are evenly (or symmetrically) distributed, the bond dipoles cancel and do not create a molecular dipole. For example, the three bonds in a molecule of BF3 are significantly polar, but they are symmetrically arranged around the central boron atom. (No side of the molecule has more negative or positive charge than another side, and so the molecule is nonpolar) A water molecule is polar because ◘ its O-H bonds are significantly polar ◘ its bent geometry makes the distribution of those polar bonds asymmetrical. The side of the water molecule containing the more electronegative oxygen atom is partially negative, and the side of the molecule containing the less electronegative hydrogen atoms is partially positive.

Try a Few!
• • • • • • • • • CH4 PCl5 NH3 NH4+1 CH3Cl H2S CO SF6 HBr • • • • • • • • • Nonpolar molecule Nonpolar molecule Polar Molecule Nonpolar Ion Polar Molecule Polar Molecule Polar Molecule Nonpolar Molecule Polar Molecule

VSEPR Theory
• Molecular Geometry – shapes of Molecules.
◘ The shapes of molecules are determined by the bonding inside the molecules & the electrons in bonds.

• VSEPR Theory (Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion) – all the electrons in an atom will repel each other.
◘ Electrons in bonds & nonbonding electron pairs will spread out as far as possible.

Shapes of Molecules
# of atoms bonded to central atom # of lone pairs of electrons Shape Bond Angle

2,3 2 3 3 4 5 6

0 2 0 1 0 0 0

Linear Bent Trigonal planar Trigonal pyramidal Tetrahedral Trigonal bipyramidal Octahedral

180° 104.5° 120° 107° 109.5° 90°, 120° 90°



Trigonal Planar

Trigonal Pyramidal


Trigonal Bipyramidal


Hybrid Orbitals
• Hybrid Orbitals – the shapes of some molecules are best explained by the orbital hybridization model. • Orbitals are hybridized when two or more atomic orbitals of similar energy on the same atom are “mixed” to make the same amount of new, equivalent hybrid orbitals.
◘ sp – one s and one p orbital are mixed to make 2 sp orbitals ◘ sp2 – one s and two p orbitals are mixed to make 3 sp2 orbitals ◘ sp3 – one s and three p orbitals are mixed to make 4 sp3 orbitals

• Coordinate Compounds: Trigonal bipyramidal & octahedral molecules.
◘ Middle atom has more than 8 electrons.

Number of electron pairs around central atom (including bonds) Shapes Hybridization

2 3 4 5 6

Linear Trigonal planar Trigonal pyramidal, tetrahedral, bent Trigonal bipyramidal Octahedral

sp sp2 sp3 dsp3 d2sp3

Trivia Time!

Who was the first president to be born in a hospital?
Jimmy Carter (Born in 1924, president 1977 – 1980)