College Chemistry : Orbital Hybridization

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for College Chemistry

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Orbital Hybridization

What is the orbital hybridization for nitrogen in the molecule ?

Possible Answers:

sp3d

sp3

sp

sp2

Correct answer:

sp2

Explanation:

Start by drawing the Lewis structure of  has  valence electrons.

1

Since the nitrogen has  oxygen atoms bonded to it and a lone pair, the steric number must be . From that, we know that it must have sp2 hybridization.

Example Question #2 : Orbital Hybridization

Which of the following types of hybridization is found in the molecule shown below?

1

Possible Answers:

sp

sp2

sp3d

sp3

Correct answer:

sp2

Explanation:

1

Look at each of the carbon atoms in the chain. Each carbon atom has  other atoms bonded to it. This means that the steric number of each carbon is . Thus, the only type of hybridization found in this molecule is sp2.

Example Question #1 : Orbital Hybridization

What is the hybridization for the atom circled in red?

1

Possible Answers:

sp3

sp3d

sp

sp2

Correct answer:

sp3

Explanation:

1

Start by counting the number of atoms the nitrogen is bonded to. It has  bonded atoms. The nitrogen also has a lone pair. This means the steric number of the nitrogen is . Thus, it must have  hybridization.

Example Question #4 : Orbital Hybridization

Dimethylsulfoxide is can be drawn with the following Lewis structure:

1

What is the hybridization about the sulfur atom?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

1

Notice that there are  groups bonded to the sulfur. The groups are the double bond to the oxygen, the lone pair, and the bonds to the two separate carbons.

Since there are  groups on the sulfur, it must have  hybridization.

Example Question #5 : Orbital Hybridization

What is the hybridization of selenium in ?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Start by drawing the Lewis structure.

1

Notice that selenium has  groups around it: 4 bromines and 1 lone pair.

Molecules with  electron groups will exhibit  hybridization.

Example Question #6 : Orbital Hybridization

What kind of hybridization would be expected of the carbon atom involved in a ketone group?

Possible Answers:

No hybridization would be expected

Correct answer:

Explanation:

For this question, we're asked to identify which kind of hydridization, if any, a carbonyl carbon of a ketone group will have.

First, let's recall that a ketone group is a functional group in which a carbon atom contains a double bond to an oxygen atom. In addition, the carbon also has a single bond to each of two other atoms, neither of which are hydrogen.

Let's also recall that a double bond consists of one sigma bond and one pi bond. Each of the two single bonds that carbon has to the other atoms will also be sigma bonds, because these are both single bonds. Thus, in total, this carbon atom will have three sigma bonds and one pi bond.

In order to have a pi bond, there must be p orbital overlap. Thus, one out of the three p orbitals from the carbon will be used towards contributing to the pi bond with the oxygen. Consequently, we have one s orbital and two p orbitals left over. These three orbitals can hybridize to become three  orbitals. Each of these  orbitals will take place in the three sigma bonds that the carbon atom has.

Example Question #2 : Orbital Hybridization

1

What is the hybridization of the circled sulfur atom in the given molecule?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

1

Count the number of groups that the sulfur has attached to it. It is attached to , two oxygen atoms, an done carbon. Since there are four groups attached to the sulfur, it must have  hybridization.

Example Question #8 : Orbital Hybridization

What is the hybridization found around the nitrogen atom in nitrous acid?

Possible Answers:

The hybridization of the nitrogen atom cannot be determined.

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Start by recalling that nitrous acid is .

Next, draw its Lewis Structure:

2

Notice that the nitrogen is bonded to two oxygen atoms. The nitrogen atom also has a lone pair. Since there are  groups attached to the nitrogen, it must have  hybridization.

Example Question #9 : Orbital Hybridization

Ethylene is a hydrocarbon with the molecular formula . What is the orbital hybridization and orbital orientation of the Carbon atoms in ethylene?

Possible Answers:

; tetrahedral

; trigonal planar

; tetrahedral

; trigonal planar

Correct answer:

; trigonal planar

Explanation:

In ethylene, the two central Carbon atoms are bonded together with a double covalent bond. In order to form a double bond, Carbon always takes on  hybridization. The double bond consists of a sigma bond caused by the overlapping of a pair of  hybridized orbitals and a pi bond caused by the overlapping of neighboring unhybridized  orbitals. Further,   hybridization always results in hybrid orbitals that are oriented in a trigonal planar manner, with a separation angle of 120° for maximum electron separation between the three sigma-bonding  orbitals. Thus, all other answers are incorrect.

Example Question #10 : Orbital Hybridization

In the molecule hydrogen cyanide , what is the orbital hybridization of the carbon atom?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

In HCN, Carbon is bonded to Nitrogen with a triple covalent bond consisting of one sigma bond and two pi bonds. The sigma bond is formed by overlapping  hybridized orbitals, with the two remaining unhybridized  orbitals overlapping to form the two pi bonds.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: