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What is the condition that the compound is sp2 or sp3 hybridised?

What is the condition that the compound is sp2 or sp3 hybridised?


1 Answers

Aman Bansal
592 Points
9 years ago

Dear Hasan,

sp3 hybrids

Hybridisation describes the bonding atoms from an atom s point of view. That is, for a tetrahedrally coordinated carbon (e.g., methane, CH4), the carbon should have 4 orbitals with the correct symmetry to bond to the 4 hydrogen atoms. The problem with the existence of methane is now this: carbon s ground state configuration is 1s2 2s2 2px1 2py1 or more easily read:
The valence bond theory would predict, based on the existence of two half-filled p-type orbitals (the designations px py or pz are meaningless at this point, as they do not fill in any particular order), that C forms two covalent bonds, i.e., CH2 (methylene). However, methylene is a very reactive molecule (see also: carbene) and cannot exist outside of a molecular system. Therefore, this theory alone cannot explain the existence of CH4.
Furthermore, ground state orbitals cannot be used for bonding in CH4. While exciting a 2s electron into a 2p orbital would, in theory, allow for four bonds according to the valence bond theory, (which has been proved experimentally correct for systems like O2) this would imply that the various bonds of CH4 would have differing energies due to differing levels of orbital overlap. Once again, this has been experimentally disproved: any hydrogen can be removed from a carbon with equal ease.
To summarise, to explain the existence of CH4 (and many other molecules) a method by which as many as 12 bonds (for transition metals) of equal strength (and therefore equal length) was required.
The first step in hybridisation is the excitation of one (or more) electrons (we consider the carbon atom in methane, for simplicity of the discussion):
The proton that forms the nucleus of a hydrogen atom attracts one of the lower-energy valence electrons on carbon. This causes an excitation, moving a 2s electron into a 2p orbital. This, however, increases the influence of the carbon nucleus on the valence electrons by increasing the effective core potential (the amount of charge the nucleus exerts on a given electron = Charge of Core − Charge of all electrons closer to the nucleus). The effective core potential is also known as the effective nuclear charge, or Zeff.
The solution to the Schrödinger equation for this configuration is a linear combination of the s and p wave functions, or orbitals, known as a hybridized orbital.[3] In the case of carbon attempting to bond with four hydrogens, four orbitals are required. Therefore, the 2s orbital (core orbitals are almost never involved in bonding) "mixes" with the three 2p orbitals to form four sp3 hybrids (read as s-p-three). See graphical summary below.
In CH4, four sp3 hybridised orbitals are overlapped by hydrogen s 1s orbital, yielding four σ (sigma) bonds (that is, four single covalent bonds). The four bonds are of the same length and strength. This theory fits our requirements.

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Aman Bansal

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