Why is $\mathrm{dsp}^2$ square planar but $\mathrm{sp}^3$ tetrahedral in shape? I am unable to find a reason anywhere. I know how to figure which hybridisation a compound is, but not why.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How do you think you find the hybridisation of a molecule? $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Mar 6, 2016 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ @bon I find the number of electrons, then check if the ligand is strong field or weak field. If it is strong I pair the electrons. The left over orbitals are used by the ligand, so they all get hybridised. $\endgroup$ Mar 6, 2016 at 14:27
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ ‘Stop using hybridisation to explain complexes’ is the answer to your question. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Mar 21, 2016 at 1:26
  • $\begingroup$ Square planar usually happens if there is a reason to keep two electrons (sometimes even one) in a $\mathrm{d_{z^2}}$ orbital for stabilisation reasons. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Mar 21, 2016 at 1:26


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