(Polar molecules, Non-polar molecules, etc.)
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Why is it that when there are five regions of e- density but 2 of them are lone pairs on the central atom (such as ICl3 in ex 4.9a) both lone pairs are in the equatorial positions rather than the axial positions? I thought that the point was to keep lone pairs as far apart as possible, and if 2 lone pairs took the 2 axial positions, they would be farther away from each other than in 2 of the equatorial positions.
If the lone pair is axial, it interacts with three atoms instead of the (only) two atoms it would interact with as an equatorial. As an equatorial lone pair, it would just interact with the axial atoms. The molecule prefers this because it takes less energy.
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