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Questions tagged [molecular-orbital-theory]

Use of molecular orbital (MO) theory allows for an understanding of the observed properties (shape, reactivity) of molecules. The tag should be applied to all questions related to MO theory, from questions about the qualitative use of the theory to questions about the underlying quantum mechanics and applications in computational chemistry.

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35
votes
2answers
17k views

How can the dipole moment of carbon monoxide be rationalised by molecular orbital theory?

Despite the fact that oxygen is much more electronegative than carbon, the bond in $\ce{CO}$ presents a weak dipole moment. This observation can easily be explained using the concept of "dative bond", ...
44
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8answers
27k views

Why do compounds like SF6 and SF4 exist but SH6 and SH4 don't?

Both $\ce{SF6}$ and $\ce{SH6}$ and $\ce{SF4}$ and $\ce{SH4}$ have the same central atom and the same hybridization, but my teacher specifically mentioned that $\ce{SH6}$ and $\ce{SH4}$ don't exist. I'...
33
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3answers
26k views

Why is the bond angle H-P-H smaller than H-N-H?

$\ce{N}$ & $\ce{P}$ are in the same group. Both $\ce{NH3}$ and $\ce{PH3}$ have one lone pair and according to VSEPR theory, both the central atoms are predicted to be $\ce{sp^3}$ hybridized. But ...
20
votes
1answer
6k views

How can the intense color of potassium permanganate be explained with molecular orbital theory?

In the permanganate ion, manganese is in the $+7$ oxidation state, therefore it is a $\ce{d^0}$ ion. $\ce{d^0}$ and $\ce{d^1^0}$ ions don't absorb visible spectrum radiation because there are no ...
72
votes
3answers
29k views

Bonding in diatomic C2, a carbon-carbon quadruple bond?

Carbon is well known to form single, double, and triple $\ce{C-C}$ bonds in compounds. There is a recent report (2012) that carbon forms a quadruple bond in diatomic carbon, $\ce{C2}$. The excerpt ...
15
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3answers
4k views

Why is the inversion barrier larger in PH3 than it is in NH3?

The inversion barrier in $\ce{NH3}$ is approximately $5~\mathrm{kcal~mol^{-1}}$ and that of $\ce{PH3}$ is $35~\mathrm{kcal~mol^{-1}}$. This has well-known stereochemical consequences in that amines ...
39
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5answers
6k views

How can antibonding orbitals be more antibonding than bonding orbitals are bonding?

In molecular orbital theory, the fact that a bonding and antibonding molecular orbital pair have different energies is accompanied by the fact that the energy by which the bonding is lowered is less ...
20
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2answers
8k views

How to rationalise the resonance structures and hybridisation of the nitrogen in a conjugated amine?

I was given the first structure, and then drew the other 5 resonance structures: First of all, are they correct? ChemBioDraw had some complaints, but as far as I can see there's the same number of ...
22
votes
1answer
28k views

Why is [PdCl4]2- square planar whereas [NiCl4]2- is tetrahedral?

The molecule $\ce{[PdCl4]^2-}$ is diamagnetic, which indicates a square planar geometry as all eight d electrons are paired in the lower-energy orbitals. However, $\ce{[NiCl4]^2-}$ is also $\mathrm{d^...
10
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1answer
6k views

Delocalization of pi electrons in nitrate ion

In my textbook, as examples of delocalization of pi electrons, benzene and nitrate ion have been considered. Benzene, due to symmetry of its resonating structures is simple enough. We assume that $\...
6
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3answers
8k views

π Bonding in Carbon Dioxide

I am fairly sure the first diagram I drew for carbon dioxide is wrong in terms of showing π bonding. This is because we use a π orbital twice, which isn't possible. The second diagram corrects this by ...
19
votes
2answers
8k views

How can the Bonding in IF7 be explained using LCAO method?

I know that the VSEPR theory explains $\ce{IF_7}$ (iodine heptafluoride)'s structure as a pentagonal bi-pyramidal one. The valence bond theory can be used to say that it has $\mathrm{sp^3d^3}$ ...
7
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3answers
6k views

Does the shared electron in Covalent bonds revolve around nucleus?

We know that electrons are charges that revolve around the nucleus. Then, when in covalent bonds the electron is shared; does the electron obey the rule?
13
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1answer
4k views

How can the gauche-effect be explained?

Generally, anti-conformations are more stable. But in the case of 2-fluoroethanol, the gauche confirmation is more stable. It's given in March's advanced organic chemistry book that intramolecular ...
32
votes
3answers
20k views

What is actually the difference between valence bond theory and molecular orbital theory?

Recently I have read about both of the concepts in my book (Physical Chemistry by Atkins, Paula). It was literally a reading; though I could understand the language and superposition of orbitals, ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Destabilization of antibonding MO vs stabilization of bonding MO

My textbook writes that The net energy stabilization due to the occupation of a bonding MO is equal to the net energy destabilization due to the occupation of the corresponding antibonding MO. ...
21
votes
5answers
9k views

Physical intuition behind negative values for wave function?

So a positive and a positive wave function create a bonding orbital where the probability of finding an electron is summed while a positive and a negative create an anti-bonding orbital with a lower ...
11
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2answers
1k views

How does localized bonding theory and hybridisation work?

So I understand molecular orbitals and how to do VSEPR models, but I seem to be struggling with understanding localized bonding theory and how to do hybridizations. After drawing the initial lewis ...
9
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1answer
5k views

Energetic Placement of Atomic Orbitals in the HCl Molecular Orbital Diagram

How are the 3p orbitals of chlorine lower in energy than the 1s orbital of hydrogen?
31
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1answer
7k views

When is it true that more nodes equals higher energy?

Consider all the MOs of some isolated molecule. (It could be a single atom too; I'll use MO to refer to AOs as well.) Number them in increasing order of the number of nodes (node = surface where the ...
14
votes
2answers
509 views

After a unitary transformation, is Koopmans' theorem still valid?

Koopmans' theorem says that the energy of the HOMO of the Hartree-Fock orbitals is equal to the first ionization energy of whatever system is being studied. This is only approximate because it assumes ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Why are antibonding molecular orbitals formed?

When two atomic orbitals make one molecular orbital there must be an antibonding orbital also. Why should they make also an antibonding molecular orbital, such as the $2\mathrm b_2$ orbital in the ...
13
votes
2answers
14k views

The effect of hyperconjugation on the stability of alkenes with MO theory

Hyperconjugation stabilizes carbocations and that makes sense because electrons are given to the empty p orbital. But how does it stabilize alkenes? Can molecular orbital theory be used to explain it?...
19
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2answers
2k views

Cyclobutadiene - Jahn–Teller effect or not?

In transition metal chemistry the Jahn–Teller effect arises when the configuration of the metal ion and d orbital splitting set up a doubly degenerate state, which is less stable than a state without ...
3
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1answer
470 views

Physical reason for why delocalisation leads to stability?

Why does delocalization of electrons generally make compounds more stable (e.g. in carboxylate anions, where the lone pair on the negatively charged oxygen is delocalised into the C=O π* orbital)? Is ...
32
votes
1answer
34k views

What is a non-classical carbocation?

What is a non-classical carbocation? How is it different from a classical carbocation? I am confused as I have come across this term many times on Chem.SE but there seems to be nothing for my level ...
21
votes
3answers
24k views

What is the origin of the differences between the MO schemes of O₂ and N₂?

Here are the MO schemes of $\ce{N2}$ (left) and $\ce{O2}$ (right). Why is the $\sigma$-MO formed by the $p$ AOs energetically above the $\pi$-MO for $\ce{N2}$ but not for $\ce{O2}$? Can it be ...
29
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4answers
17k views

Carbon with 5 bonds?

I've heard that, even though according to Molecular Orbital Theory there is no chance of having nobel gases bonded to each other, it is not totally impossible. For example, under extreme conditions, ...
18
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2answers
2k views

What does it mean when it is said that an sp³ orbital has 25% s character?

My textbook frequently mentions: $\mathrm{sp^3}$ hybrid orbital has 25% $\mathrm{s}$-character and 75% $\mathrm{p}$-character. What are these "characters"? And how do these characters influence ...
13
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2answers
7k views

How to know whether s-p mixing will happen in heteronuclear molecules?

How do I know whether s-p mixing would occur in some diatomic heteronuclear molecules like CN, CO, NO etc?
10
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1answer
1k views

How does spin flipping of triplet carbenes occur?

Below is presented a page from Clayden Organic Chemistry 2ed. How and why does the spin flipping during the collision with solvent molecules actually occur?
14
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5answers
11k views

Structure of NO2 compound?

What is the correct structure for the $\ce{NO2}$ compound (not ion)? I always thought it was like: since the negative charge would be residing the on the highly electronegative oxygen, but was ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Why is the resonance concept not required in molecular orbital theory?

In valence bond theory, resonance plays a pivoting role; why isn't such concept needed in MO theory? Why is it told that "MO theory provides a global, delocalized perspective on chemical bonding"? (...
6
votes
2answers
16k views

Why does AlCl3 dimerise to Al2Cl6 at low temperatures?

I know that it has something to do with HOMOs and LUMOs (I can't what the HOMO/LUMO for AlCl3 is, though).
17
votes
5answers
28k views

What is the chemical structure / hybridization of sulfuric acid?

I was looking at the chemical structure of $\ce{H2SO4}$. Intuitively, I would have expected this molecule to be square planar in accordance with $p^2d^2$ or $sp^2d$ hybridization, but instead it is ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How is the Felkin-Anh model of stereoinduction correctly explained with MO theory?

One method to predict stereoinduction in asymmetric reactions is the Felkin-Anh model (derived from the more basic Cram model) that applies to nucleophile attacks on α-chiral aldehydes. In a ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is the benzyne triple bond distorted?

In many places I've seen the "extra" bond in benzyne being labelled as $\ce{sp^2-sp^2}$ overlap or distorted (not parallel) $\ce{p\pi-p\pi}$ overlap. But I've failed to see why we can't have a normal, ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Pi molecular orbitals of polyenes

As an organic chemist, I'm comfortable deriving the pi molecular orbitals of linearly conjugate systems to give the following result: In a qualitative sense, these molecular orbitals are easily ...
2
votes
1answer
197 views

What does a molecules color have to do with its bond/orbital energies?

For example, elemental iodine is deep violet. Its sigma bond or perhaps the lone pairs are capable of absorbing all visible light frequencies except violet which is why we see it as that color. ...
17
votes
1answer
531 views

Hyperlithiated Carbon Species [closed]

Below is replicated Question 1 from the Final Qualifying Exam of the Australian Chemistry Olympiad, 2004B, here. Question: The theory of promotion-hybridization is quite successful at explaining why ...
29
votes
3answers
27k views

Why is the bond length of CO+ less than that of CO?

According to molecular orbital theory, the bond order of $\ce{CO}$ is 3. When $\ce{CO+}$ is formed, the bond order decreases to 2.5, and thus the bond length should increase. However, the bond length ...
14
votes
1answer
809 views

How is spiro[4.4]nonatetraene antiaromatic

How is spiro[4.4]nonatetraene antiaromatic? I know that spiro compounds exhibit homoaromaticity, but how do they exhibit antiaromaticity?
10
votes
3answers
3k views

LCAO (Linear Combination of Atomic Orbitals) and Phases

So when combining atomic orbitals to form molecular orbitals, you can either add the wave functions or subtract them. But at the same time, orbitals can exist in opposite phases (say one lobe of the p ...
10
votes
1answer
14k views

Why a higher s character increases a carbon atom's electronegativity?

To make us understand certain phenomenon like the higher acidity of alkynes than alkanes and alkenes, our teacher told us to learn this as a general rule: Higher s character leads to a more ...
24
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3answers
3k views

Are the bonding orbitals in methane equivalent - photoelectron spectrum

The low energy portion (the part dealing with the $\ce{2s}$ and $\ce{2p}$ electrons) of the photoelectron (PE) spectrum of methane is reproduced below. (image source) The reaction being examined is ...
23
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2answers
9k views

Sp5 hybridization in cyclopropane?

I have never before heard/read about something as a $sp^5$ hybridization. Today, Henry Rzepa's blog post made me aware of the existance of such a bonding system. That made me search a little bit and I ...
15
votes
2answers
10k views

How to rationalise with MO theory that CO is a two-electron donor through carbon?

A question I am looking at is as follows: $\ce{CO}$ is isoelectronic with $\ce{N2}$. Sketch MO diagrams for $\ce{CO}$ and $\ce{N2}$. Point out key differences between the diagrams and use the ...
17
votes
2answers
95k views

Molecular orbital (MO) diagram for N2 and N2^-

I have been taught that the MO diagram is different for molecules with 14 or less electrons than the one used for molecules with 15 or more electrons. For $\ce{N2}$ the orbitals in increasing energy ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

The “rules” for LCAOs in Molecular Orbital Theory

In our course on physical chemistry, which involves MOT, we have been taught that in the LCAO approach, the wave function for a molecule … say hydrogen ion ($\ce{H2+}$), can be approximated by a ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Mechanism for the Cleavage of Diborane?

The cleavage of diborane was presented in a recent lecture, and it was said that the borane could be cleaved unsymmetrically if sterics allowed, or symmetrically if they did not, as shown in the image ...