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Homework Help: Hybridization of Oxygen?

  1. Oct 7, 2012 #1
    This isn't a homework problem, but rather a question that I thought about. Given a Formaldehyde [itex]CH_{2}O[/itex] molecule, what would the hybridization of the oxygen atom be?

    I know that the hybridization of the carbon atom would be:

    [itex]C = \frac{\uparrow}{2sp^{2}} \frac{\uparrow}{2sp^{2}} \frac{\uparrow}{2sp^{2}} \frac{\uparrow}{2p}[/itex]

    I also know that given the double bond between carbon and oxygen, a sigma bond and pi bond will be required. As thus, this is what made me think about the configuration of oxygen's orbitals. If oxygen only makes 2 bonds, then what does that imply about its hybridization? Is it sp hybridization? Does it even hybridize?

    [itex]O = \frac{\uparrow\downarrow}{2sp} \frac{\uparrow\downarrow}{2sp} \frac{\uparrow}{2p} \frac{\uparrow}{2p}[/itex]
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2012 #2


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    Gold Member

    Hybridization of Oxygen is sp2. You know that the no of valence electrons in Oxygen atom is 6.

    One is used to make a sigma bond. (1) Two are lone pairs (1 + 1 = 2) and one is used for pi bond. Total hybrid orbitals required = 3. And sp2 has 3 hybrid orbitals.
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