Linear vs. Bent Molecular Shape

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Delour Haj 3J
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:57 pm

Linear vs. Bent Molecular Shape

Postby Delour Haj 3J » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:48 pm

In molecules where the Lewis structure is three elements put together, how do we know whether the molecular shape for those molecules is linear or bent? For instance, ClO2+ has a structure with Cl being the center atom with a lone pair and two Oxygens double bonding to it, how can one know why it has an angular or bent structure rather than a linear one?

Raven_Gassis_2L
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:56 pm

Re: Linear vs. Bent Molecular Shape

Postby Raven_Gassis_2L » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:19 am

linear is AX2 where as bent is AX2E

Timothy Yu 2M
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:58 pm

Re: Linear vs. Bent Molecular Shape

Postby Timothy Yu 2M » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:35 am

@ Raven, Can you elaborate?

YuniLee_1K
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:59 pm

Re: Linear vs. Bent Molecular Shape

Postby YuniLee_1K » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:25 am

Angular/bent structures occur when the central atom has 4 regions of electron density (tetrahedral), 2 consisting of bonds and 2 consisting of lone pairs, aka AX2E2. Linear structures occur either:
1. when there are 3 atoms with the central having two regions of electron density with no lone pairs, aka AX2,
2. when the central atom has 5 regions of electron density (trigonal bipyramidal), with 3 of those being lone pairs (on the equatorial plane), resulting in a VSEPR formula of AX2E3.
Hope that helps!

Divya Kumar 3I
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:59 pm

Re: Linear vs. Bent Molecular Shape

Postby Divya Kumar 3I » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:46 am

I find it easier to think of it like this: the extra lone pair on the chlorine repels the electrons on the oxygens, which causes the oxygens to try to move as far away from that lone pair as possible while still maintaining distance between each other. This causes the molecular shape of ClO2 to be bent rather than linear, as it would be without that extra lone pair.


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