Molecular Shape

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Michael Sparks 2F
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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:00 am

Molecular Shape

Postby Michael Sparks 2F » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:52 pm

Today in class, Dr. Lavelle said that when regarding molecular shape, the length of bonds does not affect the shape. Does the bond type (single, double, triple) affect molecular shape, assuming that no new lone pairs are present?

Jonathan Sarquiz 3F
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:00 am

Re: Molecular Shape

Postby Jonathan Sarquiz 3F » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:16 am

To answer your question, no, bond type does not affect molecular shape but rather bond length only.

For example, NH4+'s tetrahedral shape is determined by the four single Nitrogen-Hydrogen bonds surrounding the Nitrogen atom, forming an average bond # of 1.
In SO4-2, the Sulfur atom is surrounded by two double bonds with Oxygen and two single bonds with Oxygen, forming an average bond # of "1.5" (a mix of single and double bonds) from resonance.
Even though the bond lengths of SO4-2 are shorter on average compared to that of NH4+, this does not affect the molecular shape as both molecules are still tetrahedral.

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