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sp3 Hybridization


In sp3 (pronounced as 's-p three') hybridization, one s orbital and three p orbitals belonging to the valence shell of an atom mix together to provide four equivalent degenerate sp3 hybrid orbitals. These four orbitals are directed toward the four corners of a regular tetrahedron making an angle of 109°28' with respect to each other (Fig.1.51).

Note
A regular tetrahedron can be drawn within a square as shown:


The Schematic formation of sp3 Hybrid Orbitals

Example 1
Methane
Hybridization Scheme of
Electronic configuration of 6C : 1s22s22px12pY1
Electronic configuration of 1H : 1s1
The molecule of methane (CH4) is found to be tetrahedral with bond angles 109° 28' indicating that C in CH4 is sp3 hybridized. The electronic configurations of carbon in the free atom and in the molecule cH4 are as follows.

 

Bonding
Each C—H bond is formed by the overlapping of sp3(C) and 1s(H). This is shown in figure:


 Bonding in Methane

Example 2  
Ammonia
Hybridization Scheme
Electronic configuration of 7N : 1s2s2pX12pY12pZ1
Electronic configuration of 1H : 1s1
The molecule of NH3 is found to be tetrahedral with angles 107.3°. The bond angle is near to 109°28', suggesting N in NH3 is sp3 hybridized. The electronic configuration of nitrogen in the free state and that existing in NH3 are as follows:

 

Bonding
Of the four hybrid orbitals, three are involved in the bonding with H and fourth one contains a lone pair of electrons. The change of bond angle from 109° 28' to 107.3° is due to the repulsion between lone pair and bond pair of electrons.


 Formation of sp3 Hybrid Orbitals

Example 3
Water


Hybridization Scheme
Electronic configuration of O atom: 1s22s22px22py12pz1
Electronic configuration of H atom: 1s1

The molecule of H2o is found to have a bent structure with bond angle 104.5°. This bond angle is near to 109° 28' suggesting that O in H2O may be sp3 hybridized. The electronic configuration of free oxygen atom and that existing in water are as follows:

 

Bonding
Of the four hybrid orbitals, two are involved in bonding with H and the remaining two contain lone pairs. The change of bond angles from 109° 28' to 104.5° is due to the repulsion amongst lone pairs and bond pairs of electrons.


 Bonding in Water Using sp3 Hybrid Orbitals of Oxygen





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