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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Explain the concept of atomic orbital hybridization
  • Determine the hybrid orbitals associated with various molecular geometries

Thinking in terms of overlapping atomic orbitals is one way for us to explain how chemical bonds form in diatomic molecules. However, to understand how molecules with more than two atoms form stable bonds, we require a more detailed model. As an example, let us consider the water molecule, in which we have one oxygen atom bonding to two hydrogen atoms. Oxygen has the electron configuration 1 s 2 2 s 2 2 p 4 , with two unpaired electrons (one in each of the two 2 p orbitals). Valence bond theory would predict that the two O–H bonds form from the overlap of these two 2 p orbitals with the 1 s orbitals of the hydrogen atoms. If this were the case, the bond angle would be 90°, as shown in [link] , because p orbitals are perpendicular to each other. Experimental evidence shows that the bond angle is 104.5°, not 90°. The prediction of the valence bond theory model does not match the real-world observations of a water molecule; a different model is needed.

Two peanut-shaped orbitals lie perpendicular to one another. They overlap with spherical orbitals to the left and top of the diagram.
The hypothetical overlap of two of the 2 p orbitals on an oxygen atom (red) with the 1 s orbitals of two hydrogen atoms (blue) would produce a bond angle of 90°. This is not consistent with experimental evidence. Note that orbitals may sometimes be drawn in an elongated “balloon” shape rather than in a more realistic “plump” shape in order to make the geometry easier to visualize.

Quantum-mechanical calculations suggest why the observed bond angles in H 2 O differ from those predicted by the overlap of the 1 s orbital of the hydrogen atoms with the 2 p orbitals of the oxygen atom. The mathematical expression known as the wave function, ψ , contains information about each orbital and the wavelike properties of electrons in an isolated atom. When atoms are bound together in a molecule, the wave functions combine to produce new mathematical descriptions that have different shapes. This process of combining the wave functions for atomic orbitals is called hybridization    and is mathematically accomplished by the linear combination of atomic orbitals , LCAO, (a technique that we will encounter again later). The new orbitals that result are called hybrid orbitals . The valence orbitals in an isolated oxygen atom are a 2 s orbital and three 2 p orbitals. The valence orbitals in an oxygen atom in a water molecule differ; they consist of four equivalent hybrid orbitals that point approximately toward the corners of a tetrahedron ( [link] ). Consequently, the overlap of the O and H orbitals should result in a tetrahedral bond angle (109.5°). The observed angle of 104.5° is experimental evidence for which quantum-mechanical calculations give a useful explanation: Valence bond theory must include a hybridization component to give accurate predictions.

Two diagrams are shown and labeled “a” and “b.” Diagram a shows two peanut-shaped orbitals lying in a tetrahedral arrangement around the letter “O.” Diagram b shows the same two orbitals, but they now overlap to the top and to the left with two spherical orbitals, each labeled “H.” A pair of electrons occupies each lobe of the peanut-shaped orbitals.
(a) A water molecule has four regions of electron density, so VSEPR theory predicts a tetrahedral arrangement of hybrid orbitals. (b) Two of the hybrid orbitals on oxygen contain lone pairs, and the other two overlap with the 1 s orbitals of hydrogen atoms to form the O–H bonds in H 2 O. This description is more consistent with the experimental structure.

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
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Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
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s. Reply
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Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
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Cied
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Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
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Cied
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I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
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Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
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The eyes of some reptiles are sensitive to 850 nm light. If the minimum energy to trigger the receptor at this wavelength is 3.15 x 10-14 J, what is the minimum number of 850 nm photons that must hit the receptor in order for it to be triggered?
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A teaspoon of the carbohydrate sucrose contains 16 calories, what is the mass of one teaspoo of sucrose if the average number of calories for carbohydrate is 4.1 calories/g?
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Calculate the bond order for an ion with this configuration: (?2s)2(??2s)2(?2px)2(?2py,?2pz)4(??2py,??2pz)3
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Which of the following will increase the percent of HF that is converted to the fluoride ion in water? (a) addition of NaOH (b) addition of HCl (c) addition of NaF
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Practice Key Terms 7

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Source:  OpenStax, Ut austin - principles of chemistry. OpenStax CNX. Mar 31, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11830/1.13
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