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Homework Help: How many other atoms is the central atom bonded to ?

  1. Oct 10, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    For the molecule ICl3

    I) How many lone pairs of electrons are on the central atom?

    II) How many other atoms is the central atom bonded to ?

    III) What is the molecular geometry of the molecule?

    IV) What is the electron-pair geometry?

    a) triangular planar b) tetrahedral

    c) triangular pyramidal d) octahedral

    e) triangular bipyramidal f) linear

    g) angular h) square planar

    i) see-saw j) T shaped

    k) square pyramid

    2. Relevant equations

    No formula needed.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I want to know if I am correct: or anyone will agree that
    Correct Answers?
    I. 2
    II. 5
    III. e
    IV. j

    Thank you!
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2017 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ugh, ICl3 doesn't exist as a monomer (maybe in the gas phase). But let's play along...

    7 valence electrons, 3 tied up in covalent bonds leaves 4 electrons (2 lone pairs).

    Not sure how you got 5, since there's only 4 atoms in the whole compound. The correct answer is 3.

    Again, triangular bipyramidal assumes 5 atoms around the central atom. In our case, we have 3 atoms and 2 electron pairs. So including the electron pairs, triangular bipyramidal is a good place to start. But since you only have 3 atoms, 2 of the equatorial spots are occupied by the electron pairs. This leaves the remaining 3 atoms in a T-shaped configuration, as predicted by VSEPR theory.

    Again, according to VSEPR theory, the electron pairs will be oriented at an angle to one another.
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