Although we normally think of an atom as having 1 s orbital and 3 p orbitals, atoms often hybridize. Hybridization definition: an atom changing its orbitals into a more stable, lower energy form. This article will cover how to figure out hybridization and the hybridization definition.
How to Figure Out Hybridization:
- Count number of “domains”
- Single bonds count as 1
- Double bonds count as 1
- Triple bonds count as 1
- Lone pairs of electrons count as 1
- Find hybridization on chart below:
|Number of Domains||Hybridization||Other Orbitals||Geometry|
|2||sp||2 p||Linear (180˚)|
|3||sp2||1 p||Trigonal planar (120˚)|
Note that an atom always has 4 orbitals regardless of its hybridization. For example, an sp2-hybridized atom will have 3 sp2-hybridized orbitals and 1 p orbital, which sums to 4 total orbitals. Even non-hybridized atoms will follow this rule as they contain 1 s orbital and 3 p orbitals (4 orbitals total).