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Homework Help: Hybrid orbital

  1. May 16, 2008 #1
    Decribe the hybrid orbital on the chlorine atom for ClO3+ ion.

    The book says sp2 hybrid with double bonds on each O.

    But it seems like:
    1) Cl should donate 2 electrons to 2 O's
    2) lose 1 electron for + charge on ion.
    3) form two singles and one double bond with the O's

    From this I get sp2 hybrid.


    1) Cl lose 1 electron for + charge on ion.
    2) then sp3d for 3 bonds with O's

    Where am I going wrong, please?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2008 #2


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    What is the oxidation state of Cl in the compound? If you know it draw the electron dot diagram dot for it and start adding oxygens. Assume that all oxygens are at -2 valence.
  4. May 16, 2008 #3
    Thank you.

    Do you mean oxidation #?

    (# for Cl) + 3 x ( -2 for O) = +1 => oxidation # for Cl = +7

    Sorry, but you're losing me here. Doesn't Lewis diagram = formal charges?

    I just started learning a week ago, so I don't know.

    Book says: O::Cl::O ( ion = +1 ) actually, book puts +1 over Cl
    O ( this goes under Cl )
    notice the octet rule is broken

    I say: O:Cl:O ( ion = +1 ) octet rule is satisfied
    O ( this goes under Cl )
  5. May 16, 2008 #4
    I am learning form Oxtoby, Chap 16, prob. 19
  6. May 16, 2008 #5
    MarkL, given your short exposure to these topics, your proposed structure is perfectly understandable. However there are complex ideas with this ion.

    Compare the formal charges for the book's structure vs your proposed structure. Then yes, Lewis structure = formal charge.

    IMHO this is not an ideal question to give to students just learning about Lewis structure and hybridization - I think it would have been best left just to ask what the preferred Lewis structure would be (using formal charge) and not ask for the hybridization.

    The +1 given in the book's solution is confusing and ambiguous as it can be interpreted as the overall charge or formal charge.
    Also it presumes that the student is familiar with why atoms can violate the octet rule in some species.

    I'm not familiar with Oxtoby, but the book does give the correct hybridization but leaves the student confused as to how to explain the extra double bonds with the other oxygens. (p-d pi bonding --> I've only seen this discussed in advanced inorganic courses)
    Last edited: May 16, 2008
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