Orbital overlap diagram for ammonia

In summary, the conversation discusses drawing an orbital overlap diagram for ammonia, NH3, and the role of the Pauli Exclusion Principle in creating bonding orbitals. The diagram shown has six electrons with the same spin, but it is recommended to have electrons with opposite spins for bonding orbitals.
  • #1
Specter

Homework Statement


Question:

Drawn an orbital overlap diagram to represent the bonding in ammonia, NH3.

Homework Equations


[/B]
none

The Attempt at a Solution



I learned that bonding occurs with the outermost s and p orbitals.

For nitrogen:
1s2 , 2s2 , 2p3

For Hydrogren:
1s1 X 3.

This is what I drew

mULeoQ7.png


Someone told me to think about the Pauli Exclusion Principle and that my diagram is incorrect because of some of the spin states in the orbitals. The Pauli Exclusion Principle states that each orbital can old 2 electrons. If two electrons are in the same orbital they must have opposite spins. In my diagram, any orbital that has two electrons has opposite spins, so I am not sure what the person was telling me.

Thanks!
 
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  • #2
Specter said:
In my diagram, any orbital that has two electrons has opposite spins, so I am not sure what the person was telling me.
As long as this is true, I think you're probably fine. These orbital overlap things weren't around when I was doing this level of chemistry, so I'm not really sure what people look for in a correct answer.
 
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  • #3
TeethWhitener said:
As long as this is true, I think you're probably fine. These orbital overlap things weren't around when I was doing this level of chemistry, so I'm not really sure what people look for in a correct answer.
The other person helping me also said that they have never heard of orbital overlap diagrams.
I'm pretty sure it is correct but just wanted to double check, thanks!
 
  • #4
No idea what it is all about, but in your picture there are six electrons with identical spin - as they should fit three orbitals, perhaps there should be three [itex]\uparrow[/itex] and three [itex]\downarrow[/itex]?
 
  • #5
Borek said:
No idea what it is all about, but in your picture there are six electrons with identical spin - as they should fit three orbitals, perhaps there should be three [itex]\uparrow[/itex] and three [itex]\downarrow[/itex]?

I thought that the Pauli Exclusion Principle only applied to electrons are in the same "circle"?

Maybe my diagram is a bit confusing. The three "circles" to the right of 2p are all 2p orbitals while the 1s orbitals above and below are supposed to be the 1s hydrogen orbitals bonding to the 2p nitrogen orbitals. I can try to draw a new diagram if mine doesn't make sense. This is how we were taught to draw them but I still don't really understand it.
 
  • #6
s and p electrons from different atoms, if they are to land on a single bonding orbital (that would be σ bond) need to have opposite spins. This is a simple conclusion of the exclusion principle, it is obligatory for every orbital (ie you can't create a bonding or antibonding orbital from electrons with the same spin).

As I understand the diagram it doesn't really show bonding orbitals, just the possibility of their creation, so it shouldn't matter much, but using electrons with opposite spins will make the diagram a bit more "realistic".
 

Related to Orbital overlap diagram for ammonia

1. What is an orbital overlap diagram for ammonia?

An orbital overlap diagram for ammonia is a visual representation of the overlapping orbitals between the central nitrogen atom and the three hydrogen atoms in the ammonia molecule.

2. What do the colors and shapes in an orbital overlap diagram represent?

The colors and shapes in an orbital overlap diagram represent the different types of orbitals involved in the bonding process. Nitrogen's central atom's orbitals are typically shown in blue, while the hydrogen atoms' orbitals are depicted in red. The shapes of these orbitals are determined by their quantum numbers - s orbitals are spherical, while p orbitals are dumbbell-shaped.

3. How does the orbital overlap diagram explain the bonding in ammonia?

The orbital overlap diagram shows how the three hydrogen atoms' half-filled 1s orbitals overlap with the nitrogen atom's half-filled 2p orbitals to form three sigma bonds. This results in a tetrahedral shape for the ammonia molecule, with the nitrogen atom at the center and the hydrogen atoms at the corners.

4. What is the significance of the orbital overlap in ammonia's molecular structure?

The orbital overlap in ammonia's molecular structure is significant because it allows for the formation of strong covalent bonds between the nitrogen and hydrogen atoms. This results in a stable molecule with a lower energy state.

5. How does the concept of hybridization relate to the orbital overlap diagram for ammonia?

The orbital overlap diagram for ammonia is closely related to the concept of hybridization. In this molecule, the nitrogen atom's 2s and 2p orbitals hybridize to form three sp3 hybrid orbitals. These hybrid orbitals then overlap with the hydrogen atoms' 1s orbitals to form the sigma bonds seen in the orbital overlap diagram.

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