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Creative Chemistry Molecular Models

The Octahedral Department

What is here?

You can see wireframe models of SF6, IF5 and ICl4. Why have I chosen these?

  • All three molecules have six pairs of electrons around their central atom.
  • As a result, they all have an octahedral arrangment of electron pairs around the central atom.
  • The bond angle in sulphur hexafluoride, SF6, is 90.
  • Iodine pentafluoride, IF5, contains a lone pair of electrons. Therefore, the electron pairs still have an octahedral arrangment, but because one of the axial atoms is "missing", the atoms have a square pyramidal arrangement. The bond angle is also 90.
  • The ICl4 ion contains two lone pairs of electrons. Therefore, the electron pairs still have an octahedral arrangement, but because two of the axial atoms are "missing", the atoms have a square planar arrangement. The bond angle is again 90.

The lone pairs of electrons show up as a small ball on these models. The molecules are animated, but if you want to stop them, right-click to bring up the menu and deselect Animate. Try using the left mouse button to turn the models around in different directions.
 

Molecular modelling applet courtesy of ChemAxon Ltd

 

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