Tetrahedral molecular geometry

Tetrahedral Molecular Geometry

Tetrahedral molecular geometry

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In a tetrahedral molecular geometry a central atom is located at the center with four substituents that are located at the corners of a tetrahedron. The bond angles are cos<sup><nowiki>&minus;</nowiki>1</sup>(<nowiki>&minus;</nowiki>1/3) ≈ 109.5° when all four substituents are the same, as in CH<sub>4</sub>. This molecular geometry is common throughout the first half of the periodic table. The perfectly symmetrical tetrahedron belongs to point group T<sub>d</sub>, but most tetrahedral molecules are not of such high symmetry. Tetrahedral molecules can be chiral.


Main group chemistry

Aside from virtually all saturated organic compounds, most compounds of Si, Ge, and Sn are tetrahedral. Often tetrahedral molecules feature multiple bonding to the outer ligands, as in xenon tetroxide (XeO<sub>4</sub>), the perchlorate ion (ClO<sub>4</sub><sup><nowiki>&minus;</nowiki></sup>), the sulfate ion (SO<sub>4</sub><sup>2<nowiki>&minus;</nowiki></sup>), the phosphate ion (PO<sub>4</sub><sup>3<nowiki>&minus;</nowiki></sup>). Thiazyl trifluoride, SNF<sub>3</sub> is tetrahedral, featuring a sulfur-to-nitrogen triple bond.G. L. Miessler and D. A. Tarr “Inorganic Chemistry” 3rd Ed, Pearson/Prentice Hall publisher, ISBN...
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