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If you have two molecules bonding to each other such as NH and CH2 you have a change in hybridization for both N and C.

NH with its two lone pairs is sp2 hybridized and CH2 is also sp2 hybridized. As the molecules begin to bond, the Nitrogen changes to sp hybridized and the CH2 changes to sp3 hybridized. First of all, is this correct?

Secondly, does this shift in hybridization result in a change in the orientations of the atoms? For example CH2 is bent, but in the combined molecule it should be trigonal planer? I.e. 120 degrees between the H atoms?

Thanks for any help!

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  • $\begingroup$ You, got it all backwards... $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Nov 8 '20 at 22:48
  • $\begingroup$ Hybridization is a "concept" that stops making any sense as soon as you investigate it. I've written about it in this answer. Short version: Don't even bother with decoding how hybridization works, you're spending a lot of brain power on something that is ultimately physically nonsensical. $\endgroup$ – Antimon Nov 9 '20 at 1:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Antimon it seems to be a hard statement. The same can be told for orbitals. Perhaps is the way the concept is thought and presented that let novices think of some clockwork machinery... $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Nov 9 '20 at 8:27

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