square planar vs tetrahedral

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Midori Hupfeld 3D
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:17 am

square planar vs tetrahedral

Postby Midori Hupfeld 3D » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:26 pm

Do we know how to tell the difference between a square planar complex and a tetrahedral complex from the formula?

J Medina 2I
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:17 am

Re: square planar vs tetrahedral

Postby J Medina 2I » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:31 pm

Square planar has 6 electron dense regions but two of those are lone pairs, making the formula AX4E2 whereas tetrahedral only has 4 electron dense regions, all of which are bonds to another atom, making the formula AX4. The two lone pairs in a square planar molecule repulse the 4 bonds to form a square shape and have their angles be 90 degrees.

Jade Hinds 2B
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:16 am

Re: square planar vs tetrahedral

Postby Jade Hinds 2B » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:33 pm

in a tetrahedral the central atom is surrounded by 4 substituent atoms vs in a square planar the central atom is surrounded by any amount of substituent atoms

Charysa Santos 4G
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:21 am

Re: square planar vs tetrahedral

Postby Charysa Santos 4G » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:50 pm

Using the VSEPR formula, AX4 is tetrahedral because it has no lone pairs (E). However, if it is AX4E2, the shape is square planar because the two lone pairs of electrons cause the bonded electrons to be arranged in a square shape, which allows them to be farthest from one another.

Tahlia Mullins
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:15 am

Re: square planar vs tetrahedral

Postby Tahlia Mullins » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:48 pm

I found it extremely helpful to make a chart with the steric number as the “y-axis” and the number of lone pairs as the “x-axis” for the molecular shapes. This would make the difference between shapes more obvious.

Megan Jung 3A
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am

Re: square planar vs tetrahedral

Postby Megan Jung 3A » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:03 pm

The VSEPR formula for a square planar molecule is AX4E2 and tetrahedral is AX4.


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