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ashok kumar Grade: 12

What is the shape of methane?

CH4 ?

Please explain  why?


8 years ago

Answers : (1)

AskiitianExpert Shine
10 Points

Methane has a tetrahedral structure.

If we consider the electronic structure of Carbon, then it is 1s2 2s2 2px1 2px, the valence shell, as it seems contains only 2 electrons, for hydrogen to share. Therefore, the Promotion of electron takes place from 2s to 2pz.  When bonds are formed, energy is released and the system becomes more stable. If carbon forms 4 bonds rather than 2, twice as much energy is released and so the resulting molecule becomes even more stable.

There is only a small energy gap between the 2s and 2p orbitals, and so it pays the carbon to provide a small amount of energy to promote an electron from the 2s to the empty 2p to give 4 unpaired electrons. The extra energy released when the bonds form more than compensates for the initial input.

The electrons rearrange themselves again in a process called hybridisation. This reorganises the electrons into four identical hybrid orbitals called sp3 hybrids (because they are made from one s orbital and three p orbitals).

Remember that hydrogen's electron is in a 1s orbital - a spherically symmetric region of space surrounding the nucleus where there is some fixed chance (say 95%) of finding the electron. When a covalent bond is formed, the atomic orbitals (the orbitals in the individual atoms) merge to produce a new molecular orbital which contains the electron pair which creates the bond.

Four molecular orbitals are formed, looking rather like the original sp3 hybrids, but with a hydrogen nucleus embedded in each lobe.

8 years ago
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