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Homework Help: Phosphorus with 5 covalent bonds

  1. Jun 1, 2008 #1
    My o-chem book says that phosphorus can have more than 4 covalent bonds. Why is this with respect to valence bond theory?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2008 #2
    I'd guess hybridization of the d orbital, but I haven't really much experience with chemistry.
  4. Jun 4, 2008 #3
    consider the quantum level number 3 of phosphorous.

    3s is full, 3p is half filled and 3d is vacant and energetically accessible.

    in what way can you get 5 covalent bonds?
  5. Jun 4, 2008 #4


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    You are saying this like it's a surprise but the most important and ornery P chemistry is pentavalent, esp. bio., all the most important compounds like DNA RNA ATP comes into nearly everything.
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