Molecular Shape with Two Central Atoms

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

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Tasnim Sazzad 4B
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Molecular Shape with Two Central Atoms

Postby Tasnim Sazzad 4B » Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:21 pm

I know how to get the molecular shape of a compound with one central atom, but how do we do that if there are two central atoms. Like in the course reader (87), cis-dichloroethene, I understand that it is polar because the dipoles do not cancel, but given that, how do I determine the shape?

Ronald Yang 2F
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Re: Molecular Shape with Two Central Atoms

Postby Ronald Yang 2F » Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:30 pm

There is no shape for describing an entire molecule with two central atoms. However, you can describe the shape at a single atom. For example, for cis-dichloroethene, at either Carbon atom, we can determine that it's shape is trigonal planar. There won't be an overall shape like bi-trigonal planar or something like that. With reference to polarity, how the dipole moments are oriented do contribute to the molecule's overall polarity, which I guess you can say comes from the fact that, at each Carbon atom, the shape is trigonal planar, thus making the whole molecule planar and justifying the overall polarity of the molecule.

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