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Homework Help: Max. number of electrons in an expanded octet?

  1. Oct 25, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    1) How do you know when an atom can have an expanded octet?

    2) Is there a maximum number of electrons that an expanded octet can hold? If there is, how do I know what that max. number is?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    1) My textbook is giving me conflicting information. It says:
    - Only atoms with d orbitals can expand their octets
    - Atoms with an atomic number of 12 or more can expand their octets.

    But, what about sulfur? It has no d oribtal, but it has an atomic number of 16! So which of the above is the actual rule?

    Electron config for sulfur: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 2p4

    2) Um... I'd guess yes. Using sulfur as an example again, its expanded octet could only hold six bonds (because 2 + 4, from 3s2 2p4, is 6). Is that true?
  2. jcsd
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