Structure of xenon trioxide

(Polar molecules, Non-polar molecules, etc.)

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Miriam Sheetz 2B
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Structure of xenon trioxide

Postby Miriam Sheetz 2B » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:19 pm

For problem 2E.11 part d in the 7th Edition textbook, why is Xenon double bonded with each oxygen instead of single bonded?

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Re: Structure of xenon trioxide

Postby Chem_Mod » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:25 pm

It has to do with formal charge and stability. If we have double bonded oxygens, then none of the atoms would have a formal charge. If we had single bonded oxygens, then the oxygens would each have a -1 formal charge, and xenon would have a +3 formal charge. We want to minimize formal charges to our greatest ability.

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