What determines which type of hybridisation (sp3/sp2/sp) a molecule will take? Methane/ethylene/acetylene all have the same electron configuration but undergo different different types of hybridisation- why?

  • $\begingroup$ Why did I get voted down? O_o $\endgroup$ – user58953 Oct 10 '14 at 21:38

It's a pretty long topic and you would like to have a look at this article. In short I can present this from the same link, also some explanation at the last:

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Methane $\ce{CH4}$, Ethylene $\ce{H2C=CH2}$ and acetylene $\ce{HC#CH}$ all have same electronic configuration but the number of unhybridised orbitals( and of course the hybridised orbitals) are different in each case due to formation of $\pi$ bonds.

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