Topic 14 - Chemical bonding and structure - 14.2 Hybridization

Nature of science:

The need to regard theories as uncertain - hybridization in valence bond theory can help explain molecular geometries, but is limited. Quantum mechanics involves several theories explaining the same phenomena, depending on specific requirements. 2.2


Essential idea: Hybridization results from the mixing of atomic orbitals to form the same number of new equivalent hybrid orbitals that can have the same mean energy as the contributing atomic orbitals.

A hybrid orbital results from the mixing of different types of atomic orbitals on the same atom.

Applications and skills

Explanation of the formation of sp3, sp2 and sp hybrid orbitals in methane, ethene and ethyne.

Identification and explanation of the relationships between Lewis (electron dot) structures, electron domains, molecular geometries and types of hybridization.


Students need only consider species with sp3, sp2 and sp hybridization