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Molecular Shapes - VSEPR (2)

Molecular geometries sorted using the total number of sets of electrons


By knowing the number of bonds and the numnber of lone pairs, the shapes of common main group molecules with formulas MX2, MX3, MX4, MX5, MX6 and MX7 can be predicted. Use the interactive models below to investigate these shapes. You can also view the shapes sorted by molecular formula.

2 sets of electron pairs (bonds + lone pairs = 2)


2 bonds and no lone pairs: linear.
Examples: BeH2, CO2 and CS2
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3 sets of electron pairs (bonds + lone pairs = 3)


3 bonds and no lone pairs: trigonal planar.
Examples: BF3, BH3, CH3+
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2 bonds and 1 lone pair: bent.
Examples: O3, SO2 and NO2-
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4 sets of electron pairs (bonds + lone pairs = 4)


4 bonds and no lone pairs: tetrahedron.
Examples: CH4, NH4+ and BF4-
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3 bonds and 1 lone pair: trigonal pyramidal.
Examples: NH3, PCl3, H3O+
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2 bonds and 2 lone pairs: bent.
Examples: H2O, NH2- and ClF2+
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5 sets of electron pairs (bonds + lone pairs = 5)


5 bonds and no lone pair: trigonal bipyramidal.
Examples: PF5, PCl5 and SF5-
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4 bonds and 1 lone pair: 'see saw'.
Examples: SF4, ClF4+ and PF5-
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3 bonds and 2 lone pairs: T-shaped.
Examples: ClF3, IF3 and XeF3+
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2 bonds and 3 lone pairs: linear.
Examples: XeF2, ClF2- and IF2-
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6 sets of electron pairs (bonds + lone pairs = 6)


6 bonds and no lone pairs: octahedral.
Examples: SF6, PF6- and IF6+
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5 bonds and 1 lone pair: square-based pyramid.
Examples: BrF5, XeF5+
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4 bonds and 2 lone pair: square planar.
Examples: XeF4, ClF4- and IF4-
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7 sets of electron pairs (bonds + lone pairs = 7)


7 bonds and no lone pairs: pentagonal bipyramid.
Example: IF7
View structure in 3D  
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