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Molecular Shapes: Molecules with No Lone Pairs on Central Atom

Electron pairs influence bond angles and molecular shape

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Molecular Shapes

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Molecular Shapes

The molecules below contain the same number of atoms, yet have different geometries. Explain the differences.

License: CC BY-NC 3.0
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Trigonal planar geometry has an angle of 120˚. Give an example of a trigonal planar molecule.


Tetrahedrons are created with four atoms bonded to a central atom. What is unique about the faces of a tetrahedron?

Tetrahedrons are three dimensional. Explain why this is, and note the significance of its bond angle.


Lone Pairs

Pairs of electrons that are unbonded are referred to as lone pairs. These repel more than bonded pairs, so molecular geometry is altered when they are present. Fill out the table on molecular geometry with lone pairs below.

Number of Atoms Electron Domain Geometry Molecular Geometry Example
Tetrahedral O3
Bent H2O
distorted tetrahedron (seesaw)
square pyramidal
Trigonal Bipyramidal I 3 -
Trigonal Pyramidal NH3


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  1. [1]^ License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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