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PCl3 Molecular Geometry - Science Education and Tutorials

PCl3 Molecular Geometry

Phosphorus trichloride(PCl3) has the composition of one phosphorus and three chlorine atoms. What is the molecular geometry of phosphorus trichloride?. Drawing and predicting the PCl3 molecular geometry is very easy by following the given method. Here in this post, we described step by step to construct PCl3 molecular geometry. Phosphorus and chlorine come from the 15th and 17th family groups in the periodic table. Phosphorus and chlorine have five and seven valence electrons respectively.

Key Points To Consider When drawing The PCl3 Molecular Geometry

A three-step approach for drawing the PCl3 molecular can be used. The first step is to sketch the molecular geometry of the PCl3 molecule, to calculate the lone pairs of the electron in the central phosphorus atom; the second step is to calculate the PCl3 hybridization, and the third step is to give perfect notation for the PCl3 molecular geometry.

The PCl3 molecular geometry is a diagram that illustrates the number of valence electrons and bond electron pairs in the PCl3 molecule in a specific geometric manner. The geometry of the PCl3 molecule ion can then be predicted using the Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion Theory (VSEPR Theory) and molecular hybridization theory, which states that molecules will choose the PCl3 geometrical shape in which the electrons have from one another in the specific molecular structure.

Finally, you must add their bond polarities characteristics to compute the strength of the three P-Cl single bonds (dipole moment properties of the PCl3 molecular geometry). Two phosphorus-chlorine single bonds in the phosphorus trichloride(PCl3), for example, are polarised toward the more electronegative value chlorine atoms, and because all three (P-Cl) single bonds have the same size and polarity, their sum is nonzero due to the PCl3 molecule’s bond dipole moment due to pulling the electron cloud to the three side of trigonal pyramidal geometry, and the PCl3 molecule is classified as a polar molecule.

PCl3 Molecular Geometry

The molecule of phosphorus trichloride(with trigonal pyramidal shape PCl3 molecular geometry) is tilted at 100 degrees bond angle of Cl-P-Cl. It has a difference in electronegativity values between phosphorus and chlorine atoms, with chlorine’s pull the electron cloud being greater than phosphorus’s. But bond polarity of P-Cl is not canceled to each other in the trigonal pyramidal geometry. As a result, it has a nonzero permanent dipole moment in its molecular structure. The PCl3 molecule has a nonzero dipole moment due to an unequal charge distribution of negative and positive charges in the trigonal pyramidal geometry.

Overview: PCl3 electron and molecular geometry

According to the VSEPR theory, the PCl3 molecule ion possesses trigonal pyramidal molecular geometry. Because the center atom, phosphorus, has three P-Cl single bonds with the three chlorine atoms surrounding it. The Cl-P-Cl bond angle is 100 degrees in the trigonal pyramidal PCl3 molecular geometry. The PCl3 molecule has a trigonal pyramidal geometry shape because it contains three chlorine atoms in the geometry and four corners with one lone pair of electrons.

There are three P-Cl single bonds at the PCl3 molecular geometry. After linking the three chlorine atoms and one lone pair of electrons on the phosphorus atom in the trigonal pyramidal form, it maintains the pyramidal-shaped structure. In the PCl3 molecular geometry, the P-Cl single bonds have stayed in the three terminals and one lone pair of electrons on the phosphorus atom of the trigonal pyramidal PCl3 molecule.

The center phosphorus atom of PCl3 has one lone pair of electrons, resulting in trigonal pyramidal PCl3 electron geometry. However, the molecular geometry of PCl3 looks trigonal pyramidal and has one lone pair of electrons on the phosphorus of the PCl3 geometry. It’s the PCl3 molecule’s symmetrical geometry. As a result, the PCl3 molecule is polar.

How to find PCl3 hybridization and molecular geometry

Calculating lone pairs of electrons on phosphorus in the PCl3 geometry:

1.Determine the number of lone pairs of electrons in the core phosphorus atom of the PCl3 Lewis structure. Because the lone pairs of electrons on the phosphorus atom are mostly responsible for the PCl3 molecule geometry planar, we need to calculate out how many there are on the central phosphorus atom of the PCl3 Lewis structure.

Use the formula below to find the lone pair on the phosphorus atom of the PCl3 molecule.

L.P(P) = V.E(P) – N.A(P-Cl)/2


Lone pair on the central phosphorus atom in PCl3 = L.P(P)

The core central phosphorus atom’s valence electron in PCl3 = V.E(P)

Number of P-Cl bonds = N.A (P-Cl)

calculation for phosphorus atom lone pair in PCl3 molecule.

For instance of PCl3, the central atom, phosphorus, has five electrons in its outermost valence shell, three P-Cl single bond connections. This gives a total of three connections.

As a result of this, L.P(P) = (5 –3)/2=1

The lone pair of electrons in the phosphorus atom of the PCl3 molecule is one.

Calculating lone pair of electrons on Chlorine in the PCl3 geometry:

Finding lone pair of electrons for the terminal chlorine atom is not similar to the central Phosphorus atom. We use the following formula as given below

Use the formula below to find the lone pair on the Chlorine atom of the PCl3 molecule.

L.P(Cl) = V.E(Cl) – N.A(P-Cl)


Lone pair on the terminal Chlorine atom in PCl3= L.P(Cl)

Terminal Chlorine atom’s valence electron in PCl3= V.E(Cl)

Number of P-Cl bonds = N.A ( P-Cl)

calculation for Chlorine atom lone pair in PCl3 molecule.

For instance of PCl3, their terminal atoms, Chlorine, have seven electrons in its outermost valence shell, one P-Cl single bond connection. This gives a total of three P-Cl single bond connections. But we are considering only one connection for the calculation.

As a result of this, L.P(Cl) = (7 –1)=6

The lone pair of electrons in the Chlorine atom of the PCl3 molecule is six. Three Chlorine atoms are connected with the central phosphorus atom.

In the PCl3 electron geometry structure, the lone pair on the central phosphorus atom is one, lone pairs of electrons in the Chlorine atom have six. Three Chlorine atoms have 18 lone pairs of electrons.

It means there are one lone pair of electrons in the core phosphorus atom. One lone pair of electrons on the central phosphorus atom is responsible for the trigonal pyramidal nature of PCl3 molecular geometry. But in the structure Chlorine atoms are polarised sidewise in their trigonal pyramidal geometry.

The one lone pair of electrons are placed at the top of the PCl3 geometry. Because the Phosphorus atom is a lower electronegative value as compared with other atoms in the PCl3 molecule. Three Chlorine atoms are polarized towards the sidewise in the PCl3 structure.

But in reality, the PCl3 has one lone pair of electrons in its structure. This makes the PCl3 more asymmetrical in the structure of the molecule. Because there is electric repulsion between bond pairs and lone pairs. But some sort of interaction is there between Chlorine lone pairs and bond pairs. But it is negligible in the ground state.

But in the central, phosphorus atom has one lone pair of electrons and these lone pair electrons just oppose each other with phosphorus- Chlorine bond pairs.

Calculate the number of molecular hybridizations of the PCl3 molecule

What is PCl3 hybridization? This is a very fundamental question in the field of molecular chemistry. All the molecules are made of atoms. In chemistry, atoms are the fundamental particles. There are four different types of orbitals in chemistry. They are named s, p, d, and f orbitals.

The entire periodic table arrangement is based on these orbital theories. Atoms in the periodic table are classified as follows:

s- block elements

p- block elements

d-block elements

f-block elements

Atoms are classified in the periodic table

PCl3 molecule is made of one phosphorus, three Chlorine atoms. The Chlorine and phosphorus atoms have s and p orbitals. Chlorine comes as the second element from the halogen family in the periodic table. The phosphorus atom also belongs to the nitrogen family group. But it falls as the second element in the periodic table.

When these atoms combine to form the PCl3 molecule, its atomic orbitals are mixed and form unique molecular orbitals due to hybridization.

How do you find the PCl3 molecule’s hybridization? We must now determine the molecular hybridization number of PCl3.

The formula of PCl3 molecular hybridization is as follows:

No. Hyb of PCl3= N.A(P-Cl bonds) + L.P(P)

No. Hy of PCl3 = the number of hybridizations of PCl3

Number of P-Cl bonds = N.A (P-Cl bonds)

Lone pair on the central phosphorus atom = L.P(P)

Calculation for hybridization number for PCl3 molecule

In the PCl3 molecule, phosphorus is a core central atom with three Chlorine atoms connected to it. It has one lone pair of electrons on phosphorus. The number of PCl3 hybridizations (No. Hyb of PCl3) can then be estimated using the formula below.

No. Hyb of PCl3= 3+1=4

The PCl3 molecule ion hybridization is four. The phosphorus and Chlorine atoms have s and p orbitals. The sp3 hybridization of the PCl3 molecule is formed when one s orbital and three p orbitals join together to form the PCl3 molecular orbital.

Molecular Geometry Notation for PCl3 Molecule :

Determine the form of PCl3 molecular geometry using VSEPR theory. The AXN technique is commonly used when the VSEPR theory is used to calculate the shape of the PCl3 molecule.

The AXN notation of PCl3 molecule is as follows:

The central phosphorus atom in the PCl3 molecule is denoted by the letter A.

The bound pairs (three P-Cl bonds) of electrons to the core phosphorus atom are represented by X.

The lone pairs of electrons on the central phosphorus atom are denoted by the letter N.

Notation for PCl3 molecular geometry

We know that phosphorus is the core atom, with two electron pairs bound (three P-Cl) and one lone pair of electrons. The general molecular geometry formula for PCl3 is AX3N1.

According to the VSEPR theory, if the PCl3 molecule ion has an AX3N1 generic formula, the molecular geometry and electron geometry will both be trigonal pyramidal forms.

Name of MoleculePhosphorus trichloride
Chemical molecular formulaPCl3
Molecular geometry of PCl3Trigonal pyramidal
Electron geometry of PCl3Trigonal pyramidal
Hybridization of PCl3sp3
Bond angle (Cl-P-CL)100º degree
Total Valence electron for PCl326
The formal charge of PCl3 on phosphorus0

Summary:

In this post, we discussed the method to construct PCl3 molecular geometry, the method to find the lone pairs of electrons in the central phosphorus atom, PCl3 hybridization, and PCl3 molecular notation. Need to remember that, if you follow the above-said method, you can construct the PCl3 molecular structure very easily.

What is PCl3 Molecular geometry?

PCl3 Molecular geometry is an electronic structural representation of molecules.

What is the molecular notation for PCl3 molecule?

PCl3 molecular notation is AX3N1.

The polarity of the molecules

The polarity of the molecules are listed as follows

Lewis Structure and Molecular Geometry

Lewis structure and molecular geometry of molecules are listed below

External Reference:

Information on phosphorus trichloride (PCl3) molecule

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